Saturdays were the best day of the week for young duelist Yuuma Tsukumo. This gave him time to practice his dueling at the park in the day and allowed him to watch television at night for as long as he wants, with the only rule to be able to wake up at a reasonable time the next day set up by his older sister.
"This is game!!" The boy shouted, his smile stretching wide as his Utopia destroyed his rival's only remaining monster, the attack point difference landing on his very little life points until it reached to zero. Shark flew back from the attack, landing rather roughly onto his bottom and letting out a grunt of pain. The purple haired boy slowly got back on his feet, looking at his opponent celebrating in front of him. "Once again, the great Yuuma Tsukumo defeats Ryouga with his awesome Utopia!!"
"Will you keep it down?" Shark interrupted the other, walking over to his vehicle to put on his riding helmet. "I already have a big enough headache from your earlier shouts, I do not need post-duel yelling." Even with his cold exterior and words, Yuuma knew his friend had just as much fun. "How about we duel again tomorrow? Or maybe even right now?" He replied, arms behind his head. A very small, but still noticeable, smile grew on Shark's face as he turned on his motor bike. "I'd rather not kill your celebration by having you lose the same day."
"Tomorrow it is then!" Yuuma smiled bigger than before, if that was even possible. "Whatever," Shark revved up his engine and began his drive back home, leaving the shorter boy at the park with the lowering sun hitting his body and making the key around his neck glimmer. Only then did Yuuma realize how late it was. His sister would be raging if he missed curfew and dinner would probably already be gone. Oh no. The duelist began his run home at the thought of losing his meal, a familiar blue figure following beside him.
Ever since Yuuma's first duel with Shark, Astral has been by his side almost at all times, giving him tips on his dueling and teasing him when he got overly confident. He was like a guardian angel. Or maybe an over observant pest? Yuuma couldn't tell which one was more accurate. All he could fully determine was how the two were connected, forming ZEXAL further strengthening their tight bond. While Astral taught him new techniques for his dueling, Yuuma decided to return the favor by teaching his alien friend about things that humans did like eat and sleep, even though Astral did none of those things. It was kinda fun being a teacher for a know-it-all like Astral and seeing him question things like bathrooms and shoes was hilarious at times.
Yuuma winced in pain and moved away from his house door. He got so distracted with his thoughts that he didn't pay attention to where he was walking. If Astral didn't already see this happen more than 10 times a week he probably would have asked if the boy was okay, but all he could do was stifle a laugh. Jumping back onto his feet in defense, Yuuma yelled at his friend for laughing, opening the door to his house to meet his own scolding soon after.
"Geez! This sucks, Astral! Not only do I have to do dishes tomorrow, but.." The red eyed boy sniffled dramatically, "gah! I can't!" He rubbed at his eyes, overreacting the punishment. Astral crossed his arms, floating down to sit on the ground. "You cannot engage in a duel with Shark?" He asked, getting quite the response from his friend. When Yuuma wanted something, he really wanted it. But just like every temper tantrum before this, he got over it quite fast, sitting on the couch to watch some television. "Since I will be stuck here for an entire day, I might as well catch up on my shows. We have been so caught up on saving the world and never had the chance to watch the ending to Fuya's show!" And with a push of a button on the remote control, the television turned on. Yuuma dug into his school bag, surprising how he can sort through the mess inside, to pull out a DVD copy the actor gave him during their last meetup. "What a nice guy," Yuuma opened the disc player and stuck the disc inside, letting it close and register the object, "no wonder he has all of those fangirls." Astral nodded in agreement to the statement. The familiar opening credits began and the two instantly glued their eyes to the screen.
It took a few hours but Yuuma and Astral were finally on the last episode of the show, almost every character had their conclusion except, of course, the main character, Robin. He still had one final fight against the evil King who took hostage of Robin's friend who was introduced mid series, The Soaring Scissortail. All was going great until Robin took a serious hit from King's shadow whip, launching him to the floor. This got quite the reaction from Astral, flinching when the whip slapped the hero on the face. It seemed like nothing was working and just when Robin was about to give up, Scissortail's voice echoed in his head. "Don't give up, my Robin," she appeared before him like a projection in his mind. The two duelists leaned forward towards the screen. "You can do this, you can save us all." Just before the vision left Robin, a small kiss was planted on his forehead. Tears in his eyes, the hero rose to his feet again and pulled out his own weapon, his lost hope coming back to him. An intense fight ensued, with Robin as the victor. The actor made his way to the locked room where his partner was kept and hurried to open the door. "Scissortail!" He shouted, seeing her sitting by a window in the almost empty room. Once their eyes met, the two ran to each other and joined in a tight embrace, the music in the background quite fitting to the situation, Astral observed. After the long hug, the two looked into the other's eyes before sharing a kiss. Something magical for the hero and something gross and cliche for Yuuma. "Yikes! What's the deal with that?!" The duelist joked, pretending to gag from the scene. Astral looked over at his friend with a confused look on his face and replied with a question, "Why are they doing what you do to Ms. Haru before school, Yuuma?"
"Eugh you mean kissing? I'm not sure, an ending with a high-five would have been way cooler in my opinion."
"Yes, it does look rather uncomfortable."
There was a pause before another question filled Astral's head and soon his mouth, "Why do humans suck each other's faces? What is the significance of it?"
"As if I know. I just do it to avoid getting strangled by grandma."
"I see. So it's the power of grandmothers that determine when to do this action."
"What? No," Yuuma turned off the TV, leaning back in his seat. "People just kiss because they want to. It's like hugging. It feels nice, that is, if you're not forced to do it."
"I'm starting to understand." Astral put on his thinking face. Yeesh was he really putting all of his braincells into analyzing one small action? Yuuma laughed it off, standing up and heading off to the attic to get some shut eye. Although he had no longer had plans for tomorrow he still needed to wake up early or his sister would chew him out some more. His alien friend followed close behind, still thinking to himself. It wasn't until Yuuma got nice and comfy in his hammock that Astral began to talk again.
"I want to know what kissing feels like."
The boy almost fell out of his bed at the alien's wish, saving himself at the last second with a hard grip to the end of the netting. "You can't be serious," Yuuma sighed, rubbing his eyes. "Couldn't you have waited until morning before you play 'Scare Yuuma'?!" Silence. The duelist groaned and got out of his bed to sit onto the chest by the window to speak to Astral eye to eye. "Astral, buddy, listen. You don't just kiss anybody. You do it with someone you love. Like I love my grandma so I kiss her on the cheek, even though she kind of forces me to at times," he mumbled the last part under his breath. "Well that's easy, I love you Yuuma." The alien responded, sitting next to the boy who's face burned hot from the response out of anger and embarrassment. "Not like that, Astral! I mean, like. Ugh! It's just the kissing you saw on TV was wayyy different then how I kiss my grandma and.. Oh! Now you got me thinking of my grandma!" He dug his hands into his complicated hair in frustration. Astral gave the other time to cool down, crossing his arms patiently. And cool down Yuuma did, sighing before continuing. "The kissing you saw was more of something two people do when they want to be linked forever. You know? It's a romance thing. Something I don't understand myself at times." Astral nodded in understanding. "Well, we are already linked by the power of ZEXAL, Yuuma. Why have we not done this action."
"Yuuma." Astral sighed not wanting the other to lose his temper again. He really was a short fuse. "You know what? If it will get you to shut up, I'll do it." It seemed like he was trying to convince himself more than convince his friend. "Yuuma, I don't want you doing something you do not want to do."
"I'll do it, alright!" His face was hot, making him look tanner than usual. "Just, don't look when I do! I don't want you staring me down!" Astral obliged, closing his heterochromatic eyes. Waiting was quite hard all of a sudden until the interstellar duelist felt something warm against his mouth. For some reason he felt something else at that moment, almost like small explosions in his chest. Was this supposed to happen? Astral moved his hands to cup Yuuma's face to get a stronger feel of the sensation he got in his face and chest, getting quite the reaction from the duelist. In response to the sudden pull, Yuuma gripped harder on his pants and the alien kissed back once more. His lips were strangely cold, almost like standing really close to the aircon and Yuuma could not tell if he liked it or not, but it sure did send shivers down his spine. After the third kiss the two shared, Yuuma finally pulled away, gasping for air and then proceeding to choke on said air. "Were you holding your breath this entire time?" Astral asked, letting go of Yuuma gently, his own hands resting in his lap. All Yuuma could do was nod, wiping his mouth and holding another cough in. When he finally regained his breathing habits, Yuuma got up and laid back down in his hammock, his eyebrows furrowed and his face hotter than before. "Astral, I hope that was an okay lesson," he spoke almost in a whisper. "I don't want to wake up late so I'm going to sleep! Trust me, I'd love to chitchat and all about feelings but,"
"Thank you, Yuuma."
"Yeah.. whatever!" His cheeks puffed, trying not to get all mushy feeling. All Astral could do was smile at the other's reaction and watch as he drifted off into a sleep.
The next morning, well actually it was just after noon, Yuuma woke up to his name being called. The anger in his sister's voice very noticeable. "Oh snap!" Yuuma groaned, slipping off of his bed and hitting the ground rather hard. And just like that, the day began. "I'm coming!" He howled back to Akari, climbing down from the attic and rushing downstairs. "Sorry I was just uh.."
"You know you seem more unbelievable when you add uhh to your excuse, right Yuuma? Now get to eating. Grandma and I made breakfast."
"You don't have to tell me twice, sis!" Yuuma rushed to the table, giving a quick thanks for the food before diving in. His sister shook her head. Although his patience was not the best and he was quite annoying at times, his childish acts reminded her a lot of when they were younger. Walking past Yuuma to put the used dishes in the sink, Akari pushed her hand in her brother's hair and rubbed roughly, "Make sure to clean up when you're done. Remember, you're on cleaning duty."
"Aww what?! I thought it was just for dinner!" He whined and took another bite of his fish. It just seemed like an ordinary day.
After taking time to clean the morning dishes, with some breaks in between, Yuuma rested on the couch wishing he still had some dishes to do or something! He was bored out of his mind! All changed however when he heard a knock on his door. Maybe it was Akari's dumb boyfriend, Yuuma thought, approaching the door. Upon opening it, Yuuma was surprised to not see the weird gambling man, instead Ryouga appeared before him. "Shark?! What are you doing here?"
"You wanted a duel right? And knowing you, you probably wouldn't have woken up for it so I thought, 'why not wake him up myself?'" An airhorn was present in Shark's hand. Was he really going to wake him up by turning him deaf? What a rude guy. "So are we dueling or what?"
"Actually," Yuuma began, "I'm kinda grounded for getting home late so I can't. Unless.." He put on his thinking face until a lightbulb turned on in his head. An idea. "We can duel in my room in secret!" A smirk grew on the young duelist's face. "I'll just say we're doing homework together but we're actually going to be dueling! How does that plan sound?"
"I don't really care, Yuuma. I'm only doing this because I have nothing better to do today besides taking my sister shopping or something."
"Good point. C'mon, let's go!" He excitedly dragged Shark by the sleeve up to his room. Astral moved out from his key floating behind the two. "So we are dueling behind your sister's back?" He asked, Yuuma shaking his head. "Nah, we're just learning through dueling Astral!" That seemed to convince him. In the room the two sat down across from each other in front of a duel mat and placed their decks down. Since they're dueling in secret, they had to go the traditional way which was kinda disappointing as Yuuma enjoyed seeing the monsters up close. With a simple coin toss, the duel began. Shark started first, summoning a water monster and placing two face downs. "It's my turn!" Yuuma placed his hand on his deck and pulled a card, his alien partner sitting next to him, closer than he usually does to see his partner's hand and his excited face as he said,