Hey guys~ Had this rolling around in my head the entire time Bruno was in 5Ds. It was necessary B'I
Fluff and angst, oneshot. Kingcrabshipping vs Programshipping.
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds (c) Kazuki Takahashi
Yuusei wearily tugged off his dirty clothes to leave them in a heap on the floor, pulling on a spare black and red shirt with some old orange shorts to sleep in. He could barely keep his eyes open, exhausted from three days of intensive work on the particle engine with Bruno, barely resting and hardly eating.
He pulled the covers up around himself, burrowing into the warmth; it was very late and he had forgotten as always how cold the workshop got at night, especially as he usually worked without his jacket. He sighed happily, ignoring the dried oil on his hands as he felt himself drifting off asleep.
There was a soft knock at the door.
Yuusei's eyes snapped open and he clenched his jaw momentarily in annoyance before reluctantly getting out of the covers and opening the door a little to reveal Jack, smiling down hesitantly at him. Yuusei wordlessly let him in and sat down heavily on the bed. As the other man sat down he looked at him out of the corner of his eye; Jack was wearing his usual nightclothes – a pale blue vest with a picture of his own face on it and a pair of loose pyjama trousers.
"You look tired, Yuusei," Jack murmured, laying down with his head in Yuusei's lap. Yuusei automatically started stroking his hair, winding the long tails around his fingers and smiling down wearily at him. "You shouldn't push yourself so hard."
"We need to get the engine done, Jack, and as soon as we can. You know what happened with the Ghost."
"Yuusei, will you quit whining about the Ghost already?" Jack sighed, closing his eyes at Yuusei's gentle touch. "You lost, so what? And you've only got that Vizor's word that this 'Accel Summon' will actually work – none of us saw what happened, he could have tricked you."
As Jack's eyes were closed he didn't see the anger flash across Yuusei's face. "I wasn't whining, as you put it," he said tightly. "We need to know how to Accel Summon for the Grand Prix if Yliaster are in control of it – who knows how many more of those Infinity monsters there are?"
"Don't worry about it, Yuusei. We'll find a way without needing this Accel Summon thing. It's better we rely on ourselves and our own instincts; that's always worked out best for us in the past."
"No, Jack. My heart tells me we need to know it." Yuusei said firmly, stilling his hands and looking out of the window.
Jack opened his eyes, frowning slightly, and put Yuusei's hand back on his head. "It's too dangerous, Yuusei. Even with this fancy new engine," he said bitterly, "You won't know if something's wrong until you go and injure yourself. And at those speeds you'd bloody well go and kill yourself!"
"What do you mean, this fancy new engine?" Yuusei demanded, turning back to him irritably, taking his hand away. "What's your problem with the particle engine?"
Jack sat back up and scowled at him. "I haven't got a problem with souping up the engine, just that you're exhausting yourself making it and you're making it with Bruno of all people!"
"Bruno?" Yuusei said, taken aback. "What's wrong with working with Bruno?"
"Only the fact we don't know who he is – he could be lying through his teeth about that amnesia! He could be a spy from another team, or worse an agent for Yliaster! I don't know how you can trust him, not when a single mistake on this engine could kill you!"
"Give him a chance! He hasn't done anything to hurt us, in fact he's been more than helpful – far more than you have been, Jack!"
"What do you mean by that?" Jack snarled, stung. "If you were willing to actually teach me what the bloody hell you do to that engine instead of just doing it alone, I'd be able to help but no Mister Fudo has to go it alone, doesn't he? It has to be him against the world, and no one else!"
"If you were capable of understanding half of what I do with the engines I'd teach you!" Yuusei shot back, standing with his fists clenched. "At least Bruno knows what a capacitor is!"
"Oh I see, you just want to spend time with your new genius friend instead of with me," Jack spat, standing up and looming over Yuusei.
"It certainly makes a change to have an intelligent conversation once in a while!" Yuusei growled, yanking open the door.
Jack narrowed his eyes, shocked that the tone Yuusei usually used to tease him was instead being used to hurt him – and it hurt him more than he could say, almost as much as Yuusei's words. But he knew from his years on the streets never to let someone see you upset, so he covered it with his best poker face and stormed out the open door.
Before he left completely, he turned back to Yuusei and said contemptuously, "I suppose you'll just be happier with me gone. I'll let you get on with your clever projects, with him."
Yuusei gaped after him, the wind knocked from his sails as Jack swept away. After a moment he ran after him, to find him shoving his belongings in a bag, fully dressed.
Yuusei stood in the doorway, a cold dread in his stomach. "Jack, what the hell are you doing?"
"Oh you've made your opinion quite clear, Yuusei," Jack replied tightly, refusing to look at him as he barrelled out the door, knocking Yuusei against the wall on his way and striding away. "I'm too stupid to help with the engine and you just want to spend time with him. I'm out of this dump."
"Jack, get back here!" Yuusei shouted, running after him. "Don't be an idiot!"
Jack spun around. "Oh I won't be – I'll stop needing you at long last. You don't want me, fine. You could have made that clearer earlier!"
"Well I certainly don't want you around when you're being so thick!" Yuusei yelled, and immediately regretted it when he saw the hurt in Jack's eyes, swiftly covered.
"I hope you're very happy with him," Jack said bitterly, and left.
Yuusei couldn't think for the rage that stirred in him and grabbed the first thing that came to hand and threw it overhand out the door after Jack. There was a muffled thump and a curse, then the spanner came flying back into the workshop, spinning to Yuusei's feet.
Yuusei ran to the door and watched as Jack vanished into the night, not even bothering to take his Runner. He wanted to say something, call him back, curse his name, but his throat seemed frozen.
Eventually he slammed the door shut and sat back down beside the engine, tinkering with it while muttering angrily under his breath.
Upstairs, Bruno opened his door cautiously with wide eyes, and spotted Crow across the hall doing the same, checking if the danger was gone. Spotting him, Crow grimaced and jerked his head. Bruno timidly followed him into his room, looking around curiously at the pictures of birds on the walls.
"Sorry you had to hear that, man," Crow said, leaning on the windowsill, almost fully dressed but bare-chested, showing a couple of old scars, presumably from fights. "They haven't had a fight like that since Jack stole Stardust."
"I don't understand," Bruno said. "Why were they fighting?"
Crow shrugged. "From what I heard – when they started shouting, anyway – it sounds like Jack's jealous."
"Why would he be jealous?" Bruno asked, scratching his head. "I'm not taking his place as an engineer or anything, and I'm only trying to help you guys…"
"I think he's jealous of how much time Yuusei's spent with you." Crow said, watching Bruno's face earnestly, unsettling him a bit.
"What? He's welcome to join us if he wants. I don't see what you're getting at, Crow. I don't know if maybe my social skills were lost along with my memory or what, but I really don't get it."
Crow sighed and looked at him very directly. "I guess I'll just have to spell it out then. I think Jack's jealous because Yuusei wants to spend more time with you, and defended you. He thinks Yuusei's got it bad for you."
Bruno frowned. "'Got it bad for me'? What do you mean?" He stopped himself, blinking rapidly as understanding dawned. Crow waited patiently. When a response didn't seem to be forthcoming, Crow said it for him.
"Yuusei's gay, Bruno. And he's with – or was, I don't know now – with Jack. Come on, man, don't clam up."
"But he doesn't seem like—"
"Seem like what? Like a flower-loving girl who can't fend for himself, or know how to use a soldering iron?" Crow said, raising an eyebrow.
"I guess," Bruno mumbled, looking down at the floor.
"Don't believe everything you hear, Bruno. It's usually not true."
"But he hasn't made a move on me or anything like that, he's just been a nice guy!" Bruno protested.
"Well Jack can be a bit childish, sometimes. He's overreacted a bit."
"But…. But… why would he think something like that? I'm not gay!" Bruno burst out, discomfited.
Crow smiled gently at him. "You might be and you might have forgotten. But what's important to Jack is that it could happen, not that it will, or would, or whatever. He and Yuusei have known each other since they were kids, and Jack knows him better than anyone. He knows that one reason Yuusei likes you so much is that you can help him, and talk on his level – something Jack just can't do." Crow sighed, still smiling. "He knows that it's likely you could be very attractive to him. He's jealous, and more than a bit insecure right now."
Bruno was quiet for quite some time. "I didn't mean to upset things by coming here – it wasn't even my idea, it was all Trudge and Mina."
"I know," Crow said calmly. "And Jack knows that too, he's just upset. You watch, he'll have come back by morning."
Bruno shuffled his feet. "Crow, can I ask… do you think Yuusei does… er… want me?"
"Nah, man." Crow replied easily. "I think he very much likes ya, and he's been a bit overgenerous with his time, but… nah. Trust me, I know how to tell when Yuusei's really into someone."
Bruno looked at him curiously. "Do you mean…?"
Crow shrugged again. "It didn't work out – he was always pining after Jack, really. It wasn't really me he wanted, so I called it off."
"So what about that girl who stopped by before, with the pink hair and bad attitude? She seemed pretty into him." Bruno suggested, surprised by how easily Crow had admitted to it.
"Ah, Akiza." Crow looked uncomfortable for the first time. "We haven't really wanted to explain to her, and she can get nasty when she's angry. Yuusei would tell her and put her out of her misery, if he wasn't quite so focussed on duelling and Jack. He doesn't really get that she likes him, and we haven't had the chance to break it to him yet."
Bruno smiled. "Seems everyone's got it bad for him, at least."
Crow laughed shortly. "Well, if Yuusei came up to your room in the middle of the night and asked, would you say no?"
Bruno was about to say that of course he would refuse when the memory of Yuusei smiling at him stopped him. For a moment all he could see was shining blue eyes and strange, exotic skin and hair, those lean muscles and how fast and nimble his fingers were on the keyboard, that keen intelligence.
He blushed and looked at the floor. Crow laughed knowingly and patted him on the shoulder. "He's just like that, isn't he?" He said kindly.
Bruno was too mortified to reply, his mind taken up with the image of Yuusei's strong hands on his body and his lips whispering seductively in his ear.
Across town, Jack thumped on a nondescript door. It opened after a few minutes to reveal a sleepy Carly, wrapped up in a fluffy nightgown and pushing her glasses onto her face.
"Jack? What is it? It's kinda late."
"Had a fight with Yuusei, need somewhere to sleep. Mind if I crash with you?"
Carly's mind immediately exploded into overdrive, imagining him coming over and fabricating trouble just to have an excuse to see her and confess his love for her. "Oh of course not, Jack!" she gushed, holding the door open for him, looking up at him in adoration as he came in, noting how messy his hair was and how rumpled his clothes were, as if he'd sprung from his bed with an insatiable need to see her. "My door's always open for you my love, if you ever need me…"
"Thanks," Jack said shortly, dumping his bag by the door and heading into her bedroom, making her blush as he started stripping down to his shirt and underwear and lying down on his back.
"So, uh, what were you fighting about?" Carly asked, darting into her wardrobe and changing into some lingerie. "Trouble over the new engine?"
"You could say that. I don't trust this new friend he's got, and if anything goes wrong with the engine he won't know until they test-run it. He could get himself killed."
"Oh wow, it sounds super serious. I hope there's nothing wrong with the engine," she said, casually flicking her hair over one shoulder and flicking a shoulder strap down, sitting where he could see her and smiling.
He glanced at her briefly and dispassionately looked her up and down, then away. "I just don't want him to hurt himself again, and I don't trust that Bruno guy not to take advantage as well as all his time."
Carly leaned closer, making sure her cleavage was in his sightline. "Would you feel better not to talk about it?"
Jack grunted, not even looking at her.
"Is there anything I can do, Jacky?" She tried again valiantly, leaning over even further and reaching out to wind his unbound tails around her finger. To no avail – he jerked his head irritably and she let go, slightly crestfallen.
"Thanks Carly, but no. I'd just like to get some rest, if you don't mind."
Put out but not by any means dissuaded, she lay down beside him as he rolled onto his side and pressed close, almost spooning into him. With a smile she leaned forward and kissed the nape of his neck, imagining a wonderful moment where he would turn and kiss her upturned lips…
But instead he tensed up and spoke in an icy voice, "Alone."
Disappointed and feeling a little silly, Carly wrapped herself up again and left the room, bedding down on her couch.
"One day," she muttered to herself as she fluffed a cushion to make her pillow.
Back across town, Yuusei was sitting cross-legged on the dirty floor, still in his sleepwear, and fiddling with an engine part that didn't seem to want to work, poking at it with a screwdriver to try and find the problem. He had stayed up all night in the workshop, waiting for Jack to cool off and come back.
It was midmorning. He hadn't.
Bruno stepped carefully down the steps to the workshop and stopped stock still when he saw Yuusei sitting there, struck by that same… oddness that had crept up on him last night when Crow had asked if he would turn Yuusei away.
It was just that he was just sitting there, looking so serious, with his leanly muscled legs on show and his odd hair mussed and falling into his eyes as he did such clever things with his long fingers. Bruno wasn't quite prepared for how strongly the picture affected him, and he stumbled.
Yuusei looked up at the noise and smiled at him. "Morning, Bruno."
"Good morning, Yuusei," Bruno mumbled, looking down to hide his blush. "Did you stay up all night? Again?"
"Yeah," Yuusei shrugged. "I couldn't sleep after the argument, so… Oh right, sorry about the noise last night. You didn't need to hear that."
"I'm sorry you were arguing about me," Bruno said quietly. "I'm sorry he left because of me."
"It's not your fault," Yuusei said with a forced brevity. "He's the one with a problem."
Bruno stepped closer hesitantly. "I mean, I'm sorry he left you."
Yuusei glanced up at him briefly, a slight blush visible on his dark cheeks. "Did you guess, or was it Crow? No, actually, never mind. Do you still want to stay with us? I'd understand if you didn't. Men are often… uncomfortable around guys like me."
Bruno looked at him for a moment, seeing the slight tension in his shoulders and the wariness in his eyes. Then he calmly sat down beside Yuusei and took the engine part, inverting it and pulling out a valve to release a clog of half-solid grease, and handed it back. "That should work now," he said, and smiled.
Yuusei took it back automatically, looking at him closely. "It doesn't bother you?"
Bruno shrugged and smiled. "I can't remember anything other than duelling and my mechanics training, Yuusei. For all I know, I might be a 'guy like you'. It's not my place to judge you."
Yuusei blinked rapidly in surprise. "Thank you, Bruno," he said quietly, touched. "That's very understanding of you."
Bruno blushingly reached across and patted his knee, admiring the smooth muscles under the skin. "So, what do we need to do today? If you're not too tired, that is?"
As they launched into another technical discussion, Crow stepped back from the stairs as quietly as he had arrived, frowning. Yuusei might not be able to see that Bruno had realised the attraction Crow had sensed between them since they met, but Crow sure as hell could. He knew that he had to warn Jack – it seemed he had cause to be jealous after all.
So he made use of his upbringing on the streets and climbed out the window rather than alert Yuusei and Bruno as to what he was up to, and tried to think about where to find Jack.
He eventually found him in the café that sold such expensive coffee – and sure enough, he was quaffing it down. There were already two empty cups on the table, and a third in Jack's hand when Crow sat down. For once, he decided it wasn't an issue.
"What brings you out here, Crow?" Jack said with an air of luxury.
"I'm here to stop you making the biggest mistake of your life, Jack. Nothing big."
Jack carefully put down his cup. "And what precisely do you mean by that, Crow? Did Yuusei send you out?"
"Nah he doesn't know I'm here; I'm here because I'm your friend and I can't stand you two arguing like this. Why the hell did you walk out last night?"
"He doesn't want me, Crow. I didn't want to stick around where I'm not wanted or needed." Jack replied stiffly, failing to hide how hurt he still was – he'd barely slept for turning the argument over and over in his mind.
"That's bullshit, Jack." Crow sighed. "Why do you think he demanded you stay?"
"He also threw a spanner at me."
Crow rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, you were being a bit irrational, you know. I kinda want to throw a spanner at you too."
"I was in no way being irrational! He wants to go have fun with his clever new friend, and he hasn't got time for me anymore. He doesn't want me – I'm not clever enough for him. I'd say I'm being dangerously rational."
"You can't honestly believe he meant those things? What got you arguing in the first place?" Crow asked, lounging back in the chair.
Jack sighed. "We were talking about the engine and the Accel Summon… I can't really remember what sparked it off."
"Liar," Crow said. "You started mouthing off about the Ghost, didn't you?"
"Perhaps. What's that got to do with it? I just told him to stop worrying about the Ghost and rely on his deck as always and he got all jumpy."
Crow banged his fists on the table. "Jack! Don't you see – he was trying to ask for your help! And you scoffed at him, no wonder he got angry. You made him feel like a fool."
Jack just gaped at him, wondering if that was what had really happened.
"And then you started shouting about Bruno when you know Yuusei only agreed to let him stay because he's so good with engines – precisely what he needs, seeing as you won't help him in any useful way. Added to the fact he hasn't slept in about three days… honestly, Jack."
Jack looked down at the table, feeling like the idiot he had been called.
"And what was that crap about him wanting Bruno?" Crow went on, scowling at the taller man. "Has he ever been anything more than friendly with him? And now what must he think – now you've abandoned him. He must think you don't want him – he must think you reckon he's lost his nerve, that he's not strong enough for you."
"Go on, twist the knife," Jack muttered, flushing.
"And you know what, Jack? You might have been right about Bruno."
Jack's head snapped up and he frowned at Crow. "What do you mean?"
"I mean that Bruno seems to have had a bit of a wake-up call, 'cause now you're gone he's realised that actually he quite likes Yuusei, and that he might have a chance. He was coming on pretty strong when I left, Jack. Yuusei must be so confused, and alone… you don't think that without you there, he might think that maybe Bruno would be good for him? For all I know, it might have already happened."
Jack's face drained of colour but Crow felt fully justified in overplaying the truth this once.
"Look, Jack. I know he loves you with all his heart – but everyone has weak moments. And a moment can be all it takes."
"What should I do?" Jack asked in a panicked voice.
"Do you still want him?"
"Of course I do!" Jack replied hotly. "I can't lose him, Crow. I can't. He's all I have."
Crow raised his hands in a calming gesture. "Then go to him, and convince him you're there for him whenever he needs you. Reassure him that you love him, too. If there's one thing he needs right now, Jack, it's your help. Give it to him."
"Are you sure he still…?" Jack asked softly, raw pain in his eyes.
Crow smiled at him kindly. "Of course he does, Jack. It'd take more than a silly fight for him to stop loving you. He still loved you after you took Stardust, didn't he?"
"Yes," Jack breathed.
"Then go – go now, before Bruno makes his move. Stake your claim, Jack," Crow laughed. "And stake it good, or you might just lose it."
Jack stood quickly, shoving his chair back. "Alright, I will. Thanks, Crow." And he ran off, coat tails flapping behind him in a way that Crow knew was meant to look dramatic, but really just looked a little silly.
The waitress, Stephanie, came up to him. "I guess he left you to pick up the tab. That's ninety dollars, thank you."
Yuusei was still in the workshop, but fully dressed now. He couldn't bring himself to leave it until Jack got back. Despite his harsh words, he really did care. And he worried about Jack – the man couldn't use the subway, for heaven's sake. Yuusei didn't want to think how he had managed to find a place to sleep – if he even had. Jack would not function in a hotel.
Bruno had been a great help, being so understanding and helpful as they worked on the engine together; the poor guy was a blessing to Yuusei's distracted mind.
He had his back to the door so he didn't see Jack slip inside, but he knew he was there all the same. There was a certain quality of the air of a room when Jack walked in, something that sent shivers up Yuusei's spine. He set down his tools and turned his head slightly, letting Jack know he knew he was there. He couldn't bring himself to turn to face him, though.
"Have you come back?" Yuusei asked quietly, a painful hope in his voice. It was his tone more than anything that convinced Jack he had made the right choice, and he walked over to stand behind Yuusei.
"I have," he said softly, hesitantly settling his arms around Yuusei's waist. He tightened his grip when Yuusei leaned back into him, clutching at his shirt. "Yuusei, I'm so sorry for being such an idiot – you were right about that. I'm sorry…"
Yuusei said nothing, face like stone. Jack bit his lip and bent awkwardly to gently kiss Yuusei's neck. "What can I do to apologise? You can have me any way and anywhere you like, as long as you like, as hard as you like. I won't say no. Do with me as you will, Yuusei, just… don't let me lose you." As he spoke, he made tiny kisses down the side of Yuusei's neck to his collarbone, his arms winding tightly around his chest, hands on Yuusei's shoulder and hip.
Yuusei's only reply was a slight softening of his shoulders, leaning back a bit more into Jack's arms. Desperately, Jack slipped a hand under Yuusei's shirt to rest on his stomach, kissing his shoulder with an urgency only matched by the tenderness of his touch.
"I promise I'll listen when you need me, and I'll do more than slap you down with Red Dragon Archfiend. I promise I'll try and help you through whatever you're worried about. I promise I'll learn more about the engines, if you'll teach me. Please, Yuusei, I can't stand this."
Yuusei sighed and bit his lip.
Really panicked now, Jack leaned his head into Yuusei's neck and spoke in a near-whisper, "I'll even share my Noodles To Go-Go with you."
Yuusei reached up a trembling hand to Jack's face, cupping his cheek gently and feeling Jack lean into the touch. "You'd share your noodles? Really?"
"Really. I'd do anything to stay with you, Yuusei. If… if you really want to be with Bruno," he said, raw pain in his voice, "Then I'll go, and you can be happy. But if there's anything in you that isn't sure, I beg you… d-don't leave me."
Yuusei turned in his arms and Jack found himself with his head on Yuusei's chest. "Jack…" Yuusei said softly, stroking his cheek with his thumb, "There's nothing between me and Bruno, never has been and there never will be. I only ever wanted to be with you."
"Really?" Jack said, hope plain in his voice as he looked up at Yuusei with shining eyes.
"I don't care if sometimes you're a little… unobservant, and unkind. It's just who you are, and it's part of what I love about you. I'm sorry I made you feel like this, and I'm sorry for all those horrible things I said. I didn't mean them."
Relief surged through Jack, making him feel weak. He closed his eyes and pressed his face into Yuusei's chest, feeling his heart beating just a little quickly through the strong muscle. Yuusei raised his other hand to stroke through Jack's hair, running the fine strands between his fingers.
"I'm so sorry, Yuusei, I was jealous and worried, and you know I can never express myself properly," Jack mumbled, his voice muffled by Yuusei's chest.
"I know," Yuusei said fondly. "And I'm sorry I threw that spanner at you – did it hurt you?"
"Not as much as the thought of losing you," Jack whispered, screwing his eyes shut against the tears that threatened.
"Hey now, Jack…" Yuusei said, touched right down to his core. He spun Jack around so he was sitting on the workbench and stood between the taller man's legs, hugging him tightly and stroking his hair. "Hey now, it's alright. You're not losing me, not now and not ever. I love you, Jack." He tilted Jack's face up with two fingers and kissed him softly, one hand dropping to wind a tail between his fingers.
Jack melted in his touch like putty, clutching at the back of his shirt and kissing him back eagerly, his worry slowly ebbing away with every touch of Yuusei's lips and every stroke of his fingers at the back of his neck.
"I love you too, Yuusei," he murmured, legs winding around him, holding him closer.
Yuusei pulled his lips away and gently rested his forehead against Jack's, smiling down at him. "You'd better – I don't know if you'd offer your noodles to someone you didn't love."
"Bloody right," Jack replied, closing his eyes and rubbing the tip of his nose against Yuusei's, making him laugh gently.
Above them on the stairs, Crow softly pulled a crestfallen Bruno away, back into Crow's room. "You'll get over him, kid," the redhead said kindly. "He's a real heartbreaker, is Yuusei."
"I know," Bruno mumbled to the floor.
"You could never get in between them, not in a million years. They're just too close. You okay, Bruno?" Crow asked.
"Yeah, I guess."
Crow smiled and shrugged. "There are plenty of other guys and girls, Bruno. Don't worry about it."
Bruno looked up at him and smiled. "I know, Crow."
Crow blinked. "Wait, what?"
Hahaa~ Snuck in a bit of Bruno/Crow~ Yes, I ship that. Don't ask why, it's mainly crack-based. ^^'
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed C: Reviews would be appreciated. Bye~