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In Between Days

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Yuma’s never been very good at school. It isn’t that he doesn’t like learning, because he does, but there’s something about classrooms and whiteboards that just don’t do it for him. Maybe that’s why four weeks into his first quarter at UCLA, he’s surprised to find himself exactly where he was five months ago- except maybe the classroom was larger and there was way more drooling involved than he remembered in high school.

His prof is saying something about conservative energy but his brain is stuck on when exactly he decided to go to university anyways. It could have been when Akari pulled him aside at the beginning of senior year and handed him his (surprisingly good) SAT scores and told him not to waste his potential. It could be the fact that every time he looks at that picture of his parents smiling proudly back at him in sepiatone, he feels like he’d be letting them down if he didn’t pursue higher-education. But if he had to choose the exact moment he decided to really go through with this thing, he’d have to say that it was the moment they handed him his diploma and he looked into the crowd and saw Granny tearing up in the front row.

---

Yuma stays in the dorms, his first year at UCLA. When he gets back to his room, after class, Shark is leaning against his doorframe and picking idly at his nails. Yuma’s face splits into a wide smile and he all but jumps on the purple-haired boy.

“Aren’t you seeing the country on your bike or whatever?” Yuma asks, more out of social courtesy than actual interest. He’s really glad that he’s here, he hasn’t heard from him since his graduation in June.

Shark shrugs, “Right now I’m seeing UCL-”

Yuma pushes him against the door and kisses the rest of the sentence out of him. He gets the door open somehow and Shark almost falls over in his urgency to get to a bed. They break apart to make sure nobody hits their head, falling into the bottom bunk, but before a word can be said they’re kissing again. It’s all tongue and teeth and he’s pushing Shark’s jacket off his shoulders when they hear an awkward cough from the doorway.

“Sorry,” His roommate looks genuinely apologetic for someone who’s just caught his roommate making out with some stranger in his bed, “I just need to get my textbook.”

Yuma laughs and rolls off shark, whose face is so red that he looks like that vegetable-er fruit that won’t be named. They lounge in his roommate’s bed and watch him as he averts his gaze and gathers everything he needs for the longest study session in the world. Yuma can’t blame him, though he probably wouldn’t have been quite so quiet it the situation had been reversed.

Shark scowls when his roommate finally leaves and mumbles something about how rude he is, under his breath. Yuma laughs again and kisses him on the nose.

“Well we are kind of in his bed, you know.”

Before Shark can get a word in, Yuma’s got his lips pressed against his again and suddenly the matter of who’s bed they’re on doesn’t seem so pressing after all.

Yuma ends up skipping both his afternoon classes in lieu of kissing Shark in his roommate’s bed, interspersed with napping sessions with their limbs tangled with the sheets and each other. He can’t be bothered with classes when there’s a cute boy in his room in need of kisses and a little TLC after months of travel.

---

Shark comes back a week later and brings Yuma a card from every duelist he’s defeated since the last time they saw each other. Yuma grins toothily and adds them to his deck without even looking at them.

“Thanks!” He beams. Some people bought flowers for their special friends, some people brought cards from defeated duelists.

“Well someone has to make sure you keep up your game, college boy,” Shark mutters and stares at the ground.

“Is my card game really what you want to talk about right now,” Yuma teases, “Cause you know I’ve got game in other areas too.” His mouth draws up in a smirk and Shark gives him that apprehensive look reserved for sucky trap cards and old cat ladies.

Yuma just nips lightly at his earlobe and sinks down to his knees.

---

Later, they’re sitting in Yuma’s bed and drying off after a shower. Shark’s running a towel through his hair, examining the worn out logo on his gym shorts. It’s so casual that Yuma doesn’t even catch himself before he asks, “Have you ever thought about coming here?”

Shark’s hands still and he doesn’t look up. Yuma thinks that he must have hit a nerve and looks for the option to backpedal because he really really didn’t want the smile on Shark’s lips to fade away.

“Not really,” Shark answers, finally. He doesn’t sound mad, so Yuma assumes that everything is fine and shrugs.

“It was just a thought,” he says. They don’t talk about it again, letting Yuma talk Shark into visiting their decked-out dining halls instead.