Disclaimer: I own nothing involved in this story unless I invented it myself. This is written for fun, not for profit.
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal
Title: Five Moments Of Revenge
Word Count: 2,378||Status: One-shot
Genre: Drama||Rated: PG-13
Note: This was written for Zexal Shark Week on tumblr.
Feedback: All forms eagerly accepted. Concrit is loved the most, but everything is welcome.
Summary: [one-shot, Ryouga/Nasch-centric, written for Zexal Shark Week] Five times in all of his lives, he wanted revenge on someone.
Always stay with one another. You’re twins; it’s so ordained by the Gods that you always be together.
Words his parent had told both of them many times as they grew up. Nasch had never liked being told what to do, but whether he liked it or not, the thought of being without Rio simply didn’t occur to him. He could sooner envision being without his hands or his feet.
And yet she was gone. Her body lay in high state in the castle, and the entire kingdom plunged into mourning. Taken not by an assassin’s blade or a plague or an accident, but by her own hand and will, to save their kingdom.
His hands flexed repeatedly, imagining plunging his blade deep into whatever Vector had that passed for a heart. Why? That one question burned in the deepest depths of his mind and soul, wanting to know why the mad prince did any of this. Nasch’s kingdom and his had only the barest connections, and most of those neutral. Not friendly, but not tense or harsh either. It didn’t make any sense.
He’s insane. Evil. That’s the only sense that it makes. Nasch drew in a breath. He knew what he had to do. Part of himself had been taken away. His only close family member lay dead, and while Merag had made her own decision, she wouldn’t have had to make it if Vector had stayed home and behaved himself.
She wasn’t the only one. So many good soldiers of his now awaited their funeral pyres as well. A warrior knew what risks battles involved. He’d faced death many times himself in the course of uniting all the kingdoms. And still, they would’ve lived if it weren’t for Vector.
Hate burned dark and cold within him. No matter what, he needed to do something. If he didn’t, Vector would simply return and finish what he’d started. At the very least, he’d assault someone else’s kingdom, and another would have to make the choice that hung before Nasch now.
He couldn’t let that happen. This was his duty.
Only one act remained before his army could sail: Merag’s funeral. Already in the back of his mind travel plans and battle schemes surged and frothed together. He would need Durbe’s help, but he knew the knight would give it full willingly and eagerly.
He hadn’t left the castle in far too long. To think that this time would be to ride for war and vengeance…
It needed to be done. Vector couldn’t get away with this. If it took him forever, if it took him a thousand lifetimes, Nasch knew that he would one day bring Vector to an end.
Someone out there had done this. Careless, probably drunk, that was what he’d heard. Someone who probably didn’t even know what they’d done and likely cared even less.
Their not caring killed two people and left two others on their own.
Kamishiro Ryouga didn’t care whether the mysterious driver knew what he’d done or not. What he cared about was finding that person and making them pay somehow.
When he first started to think about it, he didn’t know quite what he’d do. He was only about nine or ten when it really began to sink in that someone else was responsible for their parents’ deaths and that someone else was out there completely free.
Rio knew it as well, but if she wanted revenge the way that he did, he didn’t know. She’d never said anything about it. She seemed content to just duel and help him to manage their little household.
She was a lot better at that than he was, as she told him frequently, smacking him on the head to get his attention when he drifted off into thoughts of somehow turning a corner one day and finding their parents’ killer standing there.
Ryouga didn’t know how he’d recognize the person. In his fantasies, they confessed to it. Sometimes they mocked him about it, sometimes they collapsed in helpless mourning. He couldn’t make up his mind which he wanted to see more.
He refused to let go of the notion that he would find them, somehow, someday, somewhere. Any time someone at school asked one of them where their parents were or who they were, the desire flared up brighter in his soul. To think that he couldn’t answer a question that simple because someone couldn’t control themselves?
Yet with each passing year, the chance of finding his target shrank smaller and smaller. With nothing to go on, he could pass the killer on the street a dozen times a day and not know anything about it.
He still refused to give up hope. The only time he would give up this quest for vengeance would be when he knew for a fact that the driver already lay dead. Even so, he wanted that to be by his own hand.
It was a wish that he whispered to every falling star, on birthday cakes, and at moments when he had nothing else to think about. He refused to let it slip away, constructing a thousand endings to the dream in his mind and going over the more favored ones every night as he slept.
At least, until the day came when another, more intense quest for revenge intruded itself onto him.
IV. All the hatred that Shark held for the driver who’d killed his parents faded to insignificance compared to what burned through his veins at the sight of him.
He ached to wrap his hands around IV’s neck and squeeze until there wasn’t a breath left in the other’s body. Alternatively, crushing him into a pulp (literally or figuratively) at the Nationals would do just as well. To be able to go back to Rio’s hospital room and tell her that he’d defeated the one who hurt her…yes. It would be worth it. It would be worth anything.
He’d fought his way this far in the clear and certain knowledge that he would face IV in the end. Nothing could stop that, nothing could change it. It would be them in the finals.
Before heading to the stadium, he stopped at the hospital. He did his best to avoid being seen by anyone he knew for certain was one of his fans. He didn’t want to have to sign autographs and answer questions right now. He just made his way to Rio’s room and sat there for a few moments, her hand in his.
“It’s going to be today,” he murmured. He didn’t know if she could hear him or not, but he said it anyway. “I’ll come back after it’s over.”
He wished he could believe he’d come back to seeing her eyes open and a snarky comment falling from her lips. He wanted to believe that with all of his heart. More than once he’d stepped into this room utterly convinced that today would be the day where she opened her eyes.
That day would come. He’d rather believe in aliens and dragons and flying horses than to believe she wouldn’t wake up again.
He squeezed her hand and left without another word. It was harder and harder to talk to her as time slipped by. Sometimes he sat there for hours and said nothing at all.
Even if she didn’t wake up today or tomorrow, he would defeat IV today, and when she did wake up, he’d be there to tell her about it.
And she’ll probably complain about how she wanted to do it herself and I shouldn’t try and keep her from doing things.
Well, once she woke up, then she could take on IV herself if that was what she really wanted. Shark didn’t doubt for a moment that she could do it. All he wanted out of that was the chance for a ringside seat and maybe some popcorn.
He’d heard people say that revenge didn’t do anything to actually help the pain. He didn’t care what they said. How was he going to know it wouldn’t help if he didn’t at least try?
Someone had to teach people like IV a lesson. He couldn’t lose this duel. No matter the cost, he could not lose.
He’d lost. Lost to someone who hardly could figure out which way to set a card. Lost to someone who, according to every rumor that Shark knew, hadn’t ever won a duel in his life. Who wasn’t even supposed to have a single XYZ monster in his deck.
And yet one appeared anyway. Aspiring Emperor Hope. Where had it come from? For that matter, where had that new card in his deck come from?
Shark shook his head a little as he stalked down the street. The two idiots who usually tagged along after him weren’t there, but he didn’t miss them. He wanted to be alone right now. He wanted time to himself to think about all of this and figure out some sort of answer.
He usually went to the hospital when he wanted to think. Sitting with Rio helped more than he wanted to admit. He didn’t think she’d approve of what he’d been doing since the Nationals, though, so instead, he just kept on walking, eyes distant, thinking the same rage-filled thoughts over and over.
Tsukomo Yuuma. That was the kid’s name. A name that should’ve meant only mockery and laughter and instead, for the first time in far too long, handed him defeat.
They’ll all know by tomorrow. That was assuming that Yuuma and his little friends hadn’t already spread it around town in the last half hour. That he’d been defeated, humiliated like that…how could they not brag about it? How could Yuuma not brag? This was what bragging had been invented for, when the weakest of the weak and the lowest of the low somehow turned everything around and brought down someone so much stronger than they were.
He couldn’t let matters stand like that. He didn’t know what he would do, but he would figure out something. Eventually. Somehow.
The memory of Yuuma’s face joined that of IV in the back of his head. He didn’t hate Yuuma with the same all consuming strength that he did the other duelist, but he would take significant pleasure in grinding either or both of them underneath his heels and making them beg for mercy. Preferably both.
Shark lost track of how long he wandered around the city, going into worse and worse neighborhoods with each passing hour. No one bothered him, though. If anyone even looked at him in a way he didn’t like, the look he returned made them get along with their own business.
I should go home. School tomorrow. Somehow, the thought didn’t have the pull it probably should have. To go and hear all of those whispers, see people pointing at him when they thought he wasn’t looking…it would be just like after the Nationals all over again.
No. He could take a few days off if he wanted to. Or a week or two. Or longer. School hadn’t ever interested him all that much anyway.
Besides, he needed the time to decide if he’d even bother dueling again. Right now, the whole thought left him cold.
Well, maybe one more…once he found a way to defeat Yuuma.
He didn’t want to work with Vector. If anything, he wanted to kill Vector, as messily and noisily as possible. He thought Durbe and Merag would want to help. But killing Vector would have to wait until something else was done first: protecting this new world of his from those who would destroy it. For everything Vector had done in the past, that was in the past. They were all Barians now, working for the salvation of their world.
Once the Astral World was no longer a threat to them, then they could set aside the time to properly end Vector the way he’d earned it after everything.
Making the Barian World safe meant a pain he’d never thought he’d have to suffer: severing his bonds with Astral and Kaito and Yuuma…Yuuma, who’d never given up on him no matter what, and who likely wouldn’t give up now.
I’ll have to make sure there’s nothing for him to reach. He would have to give up his humanity entirely. Only then could he fight the way he needed to, for his world. His people.
They were all there still. The army he’d led to avenge Merag’s death, still loyal and devoted to him. The moment he’d seen them all welcoming him back, still trusting him to lead them to victory, he’d made up his mind. He’d failed them all once. He couldn’t do it again. He’d never wanted to do it the first time. His own idiocy and rage had led to their deaths.
He wouldn’t let that happen this time. That was part of why he wouldn’t strangle Vector yet. He’d plan that. He’d wait until there wasn’t anything Vector could do to stop him and until all of his people were safe.
Which led right back to what he had to do: stop the Astral World from destroying the Barian World. And the only way to do that was to put an end to Astral and Yuuma and all the rest.
It would hurt. But at least this was a pain that he chose. He could endure it. Once he’d discarded all the bonds to his past, it likely wouldn’t even hurt all that much.
He didn’t know who he hated the most for all of this. Vector? Whatever force it was that led them to becoming Barians? He couldn’t be certain. But he knew what he had to do, and this time, nothing could or would stop him from getting his revenge. It would all be a matter of time.
And if there was one fact he’d learned after all these years, it was that if he had anything at all, it was time.
Astral and Yuuma would return to Earth soon. He would have to be ready. The final battles of this war were about to begin.
And this was a war he could not afford to lose.