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
Word Count: 2,215||Status: One-shot
Genre: Drama||Rated: PG 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, spoilers for some of the more recent Zexal II episodes, hypothetical ending situation, written for Zexal Shark Week] It's all over. Now it's time to wrap everything up and take the first step on the path to the future.
He didn’t want to wake up. He didn’t want to see what kind of a shambles the world was in now. He could only barely remember what happened before he’d passed out. He’d dueled…someone and something happened. He couldn’t remember all of it, or even most of it. He did remember pain in every part of his body, and Yuuma screaming something, but even that faded into the shadows of his mind.
“Nasch…” He knew that voice. It wasn’t Yuuma; Yuuma wouldn’t call him that no matter how much he wanted otherwise. Nor was it Rio…Merag…his sister. She was there though; he could feel her.
Maybe opening his eyes wasn’t such a bad idea. He’d at least know if they were in the Barian World or on Earth or somewhere. Or maybe even in Hell. He could believe that, given everything that happened and all that he’d done.
“Nasch.” A different voice this time, still one he recognized, but he couldn’t put a name. He just knew that he knew the speakers.
Slowly he began to drag his eyes open. What met his gaze first was a dirty pair of pants, right by his head. He blinked. He knew those pants. What were they…what was he…
“Shark!” Yuuma had his arms around him a heartbeat later, half-dragging him upwards. Nasch didn’t move, far too confused to even think right now.
“What…” He wasn’t sure of how he managed the word, but he said it all the same. He could see them all now. Durbe and Gilag, the two he’d heard before, Gilag with regret in his eyes.
A familiar hand rested on his back and he turned to see Rio there. Or Merag. He couldn’t figure out which name to use, and decided that right now, it didn’t matter. They could decide that some other time.
Others began to gather: everyone began to gather. All of the Arclights, Kaito, the Barians…all except Vector. No one missed him, though. Everyone who had sacrificed themselves to keep Yuuma safe when the Emperors began their assault…
Nasch tried not to think about that very often. Meeting IV’s eyes was possible right now. Luckily IV didn’t seem to want to press it, not yet. He was too busy talking with his brothers about…something or other. Nasch wasn’t close enough to hear and didn’t feel like asking. He didn’t know what he felt like, other than finding somewhere to go and staying there, out of sight, far from everyone, for as long as he could.
“Hey! What is all of this?” Everyone’s head came up almost in unison, and Yuuma squeaked out a single word.
Tsukomo Akari stood there, hands on her hips, glaring at everyone as if they were personally responsible for everything that had ever annoyed her since the dawn of time. Nasch wondered if he could still create portals and if the Barian World would be deep enough for him to hide from that look in her eyes.
Then again, it probably wasn’t. Better not to draw her attention by moving anyway.
“All of you, get up.” Akari’s piercing gaze swept over everyone. “We’re all going to our place, and then you can all tell me everything.”
Nasch tensed; everything? Oh, no. He could barely think about everything to himself, much less telling someone else. Much less telling Yuuma’s sister. Yuuma’s reporter sister.
“A lot of this shouldn’t get out.” V stepped up, brushing his long sweep of silver hair away from his face. “The world isn’t ready for most of this.”
Such as humanoid demonic rock aliens being a possible fate for life after death. Nasch wasn’t sure about what Yuuma had done – and Yuuma had to have done something – but if that was still a thing, then he didn’t think people needed to know. Let some things still be a surprise.
Akari gave V a stern look. “I know that. But I want to know what my little brother’s been up to and it looks like now is a good time to find out. March. All of you.” One look and one quick hand gesture that covered every single one of them, regardless of what they checked under species, got the group moving to various forms of transportation.
Nasch wasn’t sure how to get anywhere at the moment. Nor, it seemed, were the other Barians, all of whom converged around him.
“Be at the house in half an hour, or I’m coming to find you!” Akari declared before she started off, Yuuma and Kotori and a few of the others shoved into her car.
“I think she’s serious.” Merag said, a smile flickering faintly at the corners of her lips. “We should get over there.”
Nasch wasn’t sure about that himself, but spending a night racing around Heartland trying to get away from Akari wasn’t his idea of the best way to start the rest of his life. “As good a time as any to find out what we can still do.”
He started to concentrate, sensing the play of power under his skin as he had ever since accepting that he was indeed Nasch. He’d only begun to focus when a wash of blond hair caught his attention, and he saw Mizael moving a little closer, holding someone close to him.
Kaito? He blinked a little at that; Kaito’s eyes were closed, but his chest moved up and down, and he looked more like he was asleep than –what he might’ve otherwise been. Yuuma. The Numeron Code. A few faint memories flickered in, but he pushed them away to deal with another time. Getting to the Tsukomos was the first order of business.
“Does everyone know where we’re going?” He didn’t know which of them might’ve been to Yuuma’s and who might not have. Teleporting without knowing where they were going could have nasty consequences, or so Durbe had told him. “If not, follow me.”
Nods came from everyone, and he concentrated one more time, focusing his thoughts on that far too familiar home. He moved; to him it felt just like taking a few steps, and instead of being sprawled all over the docks, the group of seven stood (well, Kaito lay in Mizael’s arms still) in front of the home of someone who’d been their enemy.
“I think we got here first.” Alit said, looking around. Nasch had to agree; they hadn’t had to worry about traffic, after all. The cars would likely be slowed down since everything in the city was still snarled up after…everything.
Even after everything they’d learned, most of which was slowly trickling back into his conscious mind, Nasch knew that they had a lot to make up for as well. Being tricked didn’t give them a free pass. Nothing did.
Merag’s hand pressed against his shoulder and he turned to look at her. “If you start trying to go off on how guilty this makes us all, don’t bother. We already know that.”
“What we can best do is do our best from here on out.” Durbe added, his eyes as warm as Nasch remembered from another life. “The worlds are at peace. Let’s make certain they stay that way.”
I could probably argue that. Nasch could argue anything, and usually did. He didn’t want to, though. Not tonight and perhaps not ever. What they’d said was on the same lines that he’d thought already. Sure, he would have to apologize to Yuuma, IV, and everyone else, but…
No, not to Yuuma. To IV and his brothers, yes. But Yuuma would welcome him back with open arms, and probably tell him to never do that again.
He could think of a thousand things he needed to do right now, none of which were stand outside and wait for everyone else to show up, and then talk about things he didn’t want to talk about. He needed to go back to Barian World and find his people, make certain they were all right after everything. He needed to find Iris and make sure that she was all right. He wanted to bring her to Earth, to give her the kind of life that she should’ve had the first time around…
I wonder if she and Haruto would get along. He hadn’t had a lot of contact with Kaito’s brother but what would it hurt to try? Assuming Kaito didn’t want to be an ass about it, of course.
“Hey, you guys beat us!” Yuuma poked his head out of the car as Akari drove up. “How’d you do that?”
Nasch smiled, a slow lazy kind of smile. Something about Yuuma made it impossible for him to be gloomy for long, no matter how much he wanted otherwise. “We knew a shortcut.”
Yuuma blinked a little at that, then shrugged. “You’re going to have to show me it one day.” He popped out of the car, not looking at all as if he’d battled a demonic being of unbridled evil less than an hour before. “Come on, we’re going to order dinner and then Akari wants to hear everything!”
If Yuuma saw the near collective shudder of the Barians, he said nothing at all about it as he headed inside, chatting noisily to Astral and anyone else who would listen and anyone who didn’t want to but couldn’t get away anyway. Nasch hesitated only for a heartbeat before he shrugged and followed everyone else inside.
It took some shuffling to get everyone settled in, especially since Mizael insisted that Kaito be laid out on the most convenient couch that could accommodate him, which took up at least two spaces other people could’ve used to sit. No one dared to argue with him about it, though. V sat on the edge of the couch opposite Mizael, both of them watching Kaito for any sign of awakening. If there was any anger between them for Mizael being responsible for V’s death, Nasch couldn’t tell.
For all that she’d wanted to know everything, Akari didn’t ask any questions until food arrived and everyone had theirs sorted out. Those who’d been Barians for longer than a few weeks eyed the various takeout orders with different levels of trepidation.
“It’s all good!” Yuuma insisted, picking up their reluctance. “Come on, give it a try!”
For all of his insistence, only Alit started to eat right away, with Gilag moments behind him. They’d spent enough time as humans to know how to do this. Durbe and Mizael both looked a trifle wary, but Nasch gave them both a reassuring look. Eating might take getting used to, but it wasn’t that confusing once one did so.
For the life of him, Nasch couldn’t remember how long it had been since he’d eaten. When he and Merag first entered the Barian World, he’d converted almost at once to feasting on the energy there. He’d needed all the strength he could get then, and he wanted to devote himself to being a Barian. Then there’d been dueling against IV and trying to find out what was going on and tentacles and pain, and…
And in the end, he was hungry to the point he cleared off three full plates of food before he slowed down. He hadn’t thought he would eat that much, but once the first morsels passed his lips, he couldn’t put it down his throat fast enough.
Finally, the last of the bowl and plates were put down, and the last bits of food eaten, with some saved for Kaito whenever he got around to waking up. He’d shown a few signs of that already, but hadn’t done more than shift around as people began to settle in and prepare for Akari’s questioning.
“All right. Where do we begin?” Akari folded her arms over her chest and stared at them all. Glances flew quick from one to others, with no one seeming to know where to begin.
“Probably with me.” The voice came from the door and everyone turned automatically to see who it was. For a few heartbeats, nothing but silence reigned. Perhaps unsurprisingly it was broken by Yuuma, as he all but flew over to wrap his arms around the burly man and slender woman who stood in the door, babbling ‘Dad’ and ‘Mom’ over and over again.
Nasch could feel himself smiling. How could he not be happy for Yuuma now?
“Dad? You know something about all of this?” Akari could and did easily brush off her suddenly returned parents in favor of a good story. Or any story at all.
“Just a little.” Tsukomo Kazuma swept his gaze over the gathered people. Nasch met the look firmly, though with a faint little twitch in the back of his thoughts. He didn’t know what the older man would think of everything and it slowly began to dawn on him that while he didn’t much care what other people thought of him, he wanted the people in Yuuma’s life to …approve of him.
And perhaps those in Kaito’s as well, another thought wriggled through the back of his mind.
He tried not to think either of those thoughts very much. There was just too much else to be done for now. But at least now they had the time to do everything.