A/N: I've just finished reading the manga of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and I have to admit I find it pretty good despite having relatively few chapters. Apart from the Planet card series, one thing I loved about it is Manjoume's character, which is completely different from his anime counterpart. Mind you, I still love his anime vesion, but there's a charm I find in his manga counterpart where he wasn't treated as a comic relief character (and somehow, the manga also managed to convince to ship Juudai and Manjoume, LOL). Anyway, with Manjoume x Asuka being one of the pairings I love in the anime, I wanted to explore the possibilities of that ship in their manga counterparts too, so here it is!
/v/ - to appear suddenly or unexpectedly from; to suddenly develop or appear.
/n/- the season after winter and before summer
The stadium roared with anticipation from the audience, as the center platform staged a duel between Yuki Juudai and an aspiring Pro-League duelist. Away from public view, Manjoume watched by the sidelines, standing with his back leaned on one of the walls as Juudai took his first turn. It had always been his favorite spot when it came to watching duels, as he could obtain a better look at the match. Plus, not much spectators were present alongside him, which was also a good thing. He had been used to watching Duel Monster battles by himself ever since he started dueling as a child, his brothers having their own interests, and through the years, he found comfort in this solitary life, even until the spirit of Light and Darkness Dragon left him.
Actually, he had grown to embrace the comforts of being alone. He found it lonely, sometimes, yet with it came peace.
"I thought I'd find you here," a voice echoed from the hall behind him. It was familiar, and he found no other reason to be wary. Turning his head back slightly, he eyed the figure approaching him, nodding lightly in greeting.
He observed her lips curling upwards, giving him a small wave from her hand.
"Manjoume-kun," she said back in her typical cordial tone, just like he remembered from their academy days. She walked towards him in a normal pace, stopping only as she reached a closer distance to him. "I hope you don't mind if I watch here as well."
He only shrugged his shoulders, which he assumed she already took as affirmation as she propped her side on the wall opposite him.
"Where are…your friends," Manjoume asked as he glanced at her from his periphery, "Marufuji Sho and Misawa Daichi?"
"Both have important appointments today so they couldn't come," she explained, her eyes glued on the battle before them with Juudai's opponent summoning a level 4 monster card and ending his turn. She let out a sigh, their eyes now meeting. "A shame, really. Ever since we graduated, we rarely see each other due to different schedules. Meet ups like these are the only way we could actually catch up."
"I see," Manjoume commented simply.
As time passed, nothing else apart from intermittent remarks about Juudai's duel were exchanged between the two of them. If there was one thing that he found pleasant about having to share his usual viewing spot with another person, it was that Tenjoin Asuka was actually not a bad companion. Her insights were actually valid and substantial, not just random commentaries just for the sake of filling in the dead air between them. He was aware of Asuka's brilliance as they both reigned from the Obelisk Blue houses, and he respected her for wisdom, for living up to her rank.
She did have her moments of showing rather enthusiastic gestures whenever Juudai gained the upper hand of the battle, something he observed would tone down whenever she caught him looking at her.
"Is something wrong, Manjoume-kun?" she finally spoke. There was no tone of irritation as he initially expected, just one of curiosity.
"Nothing," he replied back nonchalantly, and it was essentially the truth. He did not find her gestures annoying, actually. If anything, it was almost adorable, for lack of better word. Perhaps he did not notice before, but it was rather interesting to see the usually composed wielder of the Ice Deck succumb to the delights of witnessing an exciting duel through frenzied gestures.
The battle went on, and it had not been an easy duel for Juudai, since his opponent managed to counter his attacks with various magic cards. This was expected of course, since Juudai was involved in a tournament against other top-ranking duelists, who most likely had similar records as him. It would take great skills and luck to be the winner in the end.
Soon enough, he proved that he did, as the former dropout from Osiris Red emerged victorious in the end.
"That Juudai, he certainly has come a long way, hasn't he," Asuka uttered, two hands clasped in front of her pleasingly.
He could not help but agree. He looked forward to battling him again some time. "He definitely has."
It took him a moment to realize that they were both exchanging smiles as the crowd thundered with cheers not only for Juudai's victory, but for the outstanding show in general.
"Come on, let's go to Juudai," Asuka remarked as she skipped ahead of him, seemingly going towards the stairway of the dueling platform, but not before turning her head towards him, waiting for him to follow her.
Manjoume stared at her for a few seconds. Normally, he would have exited the stadium without pleasantries exchanged because that was just how it was. Juudai knew that too and had no qualms about it.
But looking at the hopeful gleam in her eyes, he finally yielded, walking behind her.
Perhaps, not being alone isn't such a bad thing.