Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh, nor do I make any money off of writing this.
AN: After writing that first chapter, I had the urge to write more. Originally, I had intended on finishing the entire story before uploading it, but now that my class schedule is something crazy busy, I've decided to upload this second chapter anyway for anyone who might have been following the story. Updates, though, will be extremely sporadic. For now, I've decided upon retelling the story, from the beginning, but, as you might have noticed from the prior chapter, with a lot less tacky gold jewelry and ancient Egyptian mythology. We'll see how this turns out, as I simply can't write duels, and I have yet to introduce the other major members of the cast. But for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy this second chapter of Brilliant Overtures.
The rest of the week had flown by in a flurry of new friendships: after meeting Yuugi on the rooftop during lunch, she had quickly taken to introducing Atemu to the rest of her friends, and they had taken to the ill-reputed transfer like a fish to water. Atemu's reputation for delinquency and street fighting was nothing new for Yuugi's circle of friends, as Jounouchi-chan and Honda-chan had similar reputations, and if they weren't going to judge her on it, why should she let it bother her?
Atemu could only smile as she put her shoes on after school on Saturday (Domino High was one of the few remaining schools in Japan that had Saturday school), ready to walk home with Yuugi, when she spied a larger senior approach the much shorter girl. Tall and burly, the senior seemed to be rather interested in Yuugi, and not in a good way either.
"Aww, c'mon, it's just a few hours at the arcade center a coupla' streets down," he cajoled. The words were friendly enough, but based on the way he loomed over the shorter girl and leered at her, it was clear he was trying to intimidate her into going.
"N-no Ushio-san, I-I'm not interested," came the meek, stammered out reply as Yuugi took a step back. Atemu barely heard it, and from Yuugi's nearly cowering stance, it was clear the intimidation was working. She sighed; it was clear that this Ushio was not getting the message, and Yuugi's generally quiet personality was not helping her either.
That seemed to have been the wrong answer, as Ushio suddenly reached out to grab Yuugi's wrist, and pushed his face closer to hers, as though he were trying to force a kiss from her. Yuugi turned her face away. He continued in a sing-song voice, "Playing hard to get, are you, Yuugi-chan? No one is here to say otherwise; you can be honest with yourself."
"Ow! P-please let me go, U-Ushio-san, you're hurting me!" A note of panic had started to creep into her voice. Atemu frowned. Not good.
Atemu's eyes narrowed as she glanced around the courtyard. Not a single teacher in sight and the clubs that were meeting right now were either in a classroom (all of the windows facing the courtyard were along hallways), or on the sports fields behind the school. Ushio hadn't been lying when he said there was no one around. It would be up to her. Raising her voice, she called out, "Let her go."
That got both party's attention; Ushio looked up and he raked his eyes down Atemu's figure – no doubt mentally undressing her in the process, much to Atemu's disgust – while Yuugi simply gave a look of absolute terror, as though Atemu had just gotten in over her head. Ushio straightened up, drawing himself to his full height, his larger hand still firmly gripping Yuugi's wrist. "Oh, and who are you, little girly, to tell me what to do?" He leered, and then added, "Unless you wanted to join us? You're certainly dressed for the part."
To be fair, Atemu never did like those stuffy school uniforms and their button up blouses and bows – with the Domino High uniform, she had taken to not wearing the bright blue bow under her collar, instead leaving the top two buttons of her school blouse open, and wearing a black studded leather choker around her neck instead. Given the warm weather, she had taken off her pink (shudder!) jacket and rolled up the sleeves of her blouse, showing off a matching pair of studded leather wrist cuffs. She decided not to deign the obvious come-on with a response, and simply repeated, "Let her go, Ushio."
"Or you'll what, go find a teacher?" he laughed. What was it with men and their inability to accept no as just, no?
Atemu declined to answer, and set down her school bag and jacket instead, lightly slipping into a fighting stance. There would be no need for a teacher; not to mention, by the time Atemu found one and came back, it would be too late. "Last chance, Ushio. Let her go, and walk away."
Ushio laughed some more. By this time, Yuugi was all but vocally begging Atemu to walk away – not that Atemu was going to do that. Oh no, Atemu had dealt with her fair share of cocky teenage bullies like Ushio. "You think you can beat me? What a joke!" He suddenly shoved Yuugi to the side and charged, fist raised to gather momentum for what would have been a painful punch.
Atemu ducked low before lunging forward, driving a sharp elbow directly into the bigger teenager's solar plexus. The air rushed out of his lungs with a loud groan, and he staggered back a few steps, clutching his abdomen, as Atemu straightened herself. "Didn't your mother teach you to never hit a girl?" she quipped. She was sure, had Ushio been capable of inhaling enough to actually speak, he would have responded. Instead, he coughed a few more times, trying to get his breathing under control.
"You bitch!" Ushio, having managed to (somehow) overcome his coughing fit for another attack, was merely treated to the sight of Atemu springing up for a firm roundhouse kick to the side of his head, knocking him face-first into the dirt.
Stalking up to the boy, who, to his credit, was still barely conscious, she glared. "And next time, when Yuugi says she's not interested, she's not interested."
"Yamino-san!" a voice rang out from behind, "Just what happened here?"
Turning around, Atemu caught sight of Yuugi hiding behind a portly teacher, both clearly short of breath from having rushed out from the teacher's office. What was his name again? Oh yeah. "Tanaka-sensei, Ushio-san was accosting Yuugi before I saw them and stopped it."
"Is that true, Ushio-san?"
The larger boy gave a groan as he slowly tried to stand up, before putting up a mask of innocence. "No way, sensei, she just shoved past me as I was having a friendly conversation with Mutou-san, and when I asked for an apology, she just started beating me up!" And it was plausible, given that Atemu was standing there without a scratch. And then there was the issue of her reputation in general . . .
Atemu's eyes widened with disbelief. Was she really looking at changing schools again so soon? "He's lying, Tanaka-sensei!"
Instead of debating it further, Tanaka turned to Yuugi instead. "Mutou-san, what happened here?"
Yuugi's eyes widened, surprised at being suddenly thrust into the spotlight. Atemu, though, stole a glance over at Ushio, who was now sending a rather threatening glare at the short girl. Atemu hung her head, eyes slammed shut and fists clenched, as she steeled herself for what would be coming next – Yuugi was rather timid, and there was no way she would actually stand up for someone she'd only known for a few days, especially against someone like Ushio.
"I-I was standing by the door, waiting for Atemu so we could walk home together, when Ushio-san approached me," she began. "He started talking to me, and insisting that I go with him to the arcade. I told him I didn't want to, but he kept insisting," she paused, clearly uncomfortable with the next part. "Atemu showed up right when he grabbed my wrist and tried to forcefully drag me off." Yuugi showed her wrist to the teacher, which still bore the red marks of Ushio's too-strong grip upon it. "She told him to let me go, and he refused. When she insisted again, he shoved me aside to attack her, so she attacked back in self-defense. That was when I went running to the teacher's lounge."
Atemu's eyes sprang open beneath her blond bangs. A pang of guilt shot through her for ever doubting Yuugi to begin with. Tanaka, on the other hand, simply nodded. "Ushio-san, Yamino-san, come with me. Mutou-san, you are free to go."
Atemu knelt to scoop up her bag and jacket, before stopping next to Yuugi on her way inside. "Thank you, Yuugi."
Yuugi just gave her a bright smile. "I'm just relieved nothing bad happened to you. I'll wait outside Tanaka-sensei's office for you."
They walked to the teacher's office in silence, and as Tanaka opened the door, he looked at both girls. "Yamino-san, please wait outside. Ushio-san, come in with me." The bigger boy slumped inside, glaring daggers at them both as he walked in; Yuugi cringed and subconsciously shifted a little closer to Atemu, while Atemu simply put a hand on her own hip and glared back. There was no way she would allow herself to be intimidated by someone like him.
They sat in a pair of chairs as the seconds ticked by, an uncomfortable silence sinking in between them. Just as Atemu was going to ask about Yuugi's wrist, the door swung open, with Tanaka giving Ushio a stern look as the larger teen stalked off, pausing to shoot Atemu one last dirty look that could only be interpreted as "Watch yourself, I'm out to get you." Atemu ignored the look; it was hardly the first time someone had done so, and she doubted it would be the last.
"Yamino-san, could you please come in?" Tanaka asked. Atemu glanced between Ushio's retreating back and Yuugi, hesitation evident in her features. "Mutou-san too, if that would make you feel more comfortable."
The pair walked into the office, and Tanaka-sensei indicated to a pair of chairs in front of his desk. Once seated, he began. "Now, first off, I would like to say that what you did in standing up for Mutou-san was brave. Potentially foolish, but brave. You, and potentially Mutou-san as well, could have gotten injured, and violence should never be used as a means to solve conflicts."
Atemu opened her mouth to interrupt. "But Tanaka-sensei-"
"Let me finish, Yamino-san." She stopped, settling back into the chair. "If you could kick Ushio-san hard enough to make him collapse, I'm sure you could run fast enough to the offices. Normally, I would have to punish you for fighting on school grounds, but given the circumstances, that doesn't seem quite right. I'll let you off this time, but next time, come get a faculty member to resolve the problem instead."
She hung her head, and nodded. "Yes Tanaka-sensei."
"Good, then you are dismissed."
She hastily stood, glad that she had managed to, at the very least, manage to get through her first week without detention for fighting. It wasn't that she went and looked for the fights, they just came to her – she was never one to tolerate bullying, and she was well versed enough in martial arts that, even if she didn't start the fight, she was always strong enough to finish them. And that was what got her into trouble more often than not.
Just as she was leaving, a thought occurred to her, and she stopped. "Tanaka-sensei, what will happen to Ushio?"
Tanaka sighed. "This is not the first time Ushio-san has been caught accosting female students after school, and I can only dream that this is the last. He has been given a one-week suspension."
She nodded, and turned to leave for the day.
"Thank you," Yuugi quietly said as they walked through the school gates. "And I'm sorry."
Atemu was confused. What was she apologizing for? "What for?"
"For helping me with Ushio-san. It's not the first time he's tried asking me. Last time Jounouchi-chan was here to help. And sorry that I got you into trouble with Tanaka-sensei."
"It's alright, he didn't punish me."
"But I was still a bother, and now it's only going to be worse now that Ushio-san's looking for revenge on you. If only I wasn't-"
"Yuugi," she interrupted. "Don't worry about it."
Atemu cut her off. "It's not the first time I've had someone come after me. I can handle it." She looked over to her shorter friend and gave her a warm smile, hoping that would keep the questions at bay. She had no real desire to get into her past at the moment.
"If you say so," Yuugi uncertainly replied. They fell silent, walking side-by-side down the sidewalk as cars cruised by. Yuugi suddenly perked up. "Oh yeah, mom's making sukiyaki tonight. Want to come over for dinner? She always makes too much."
"Are you sure? I wouldn't want to intrude."
"It's the least I can do after today. You live alone, right? So why don't you come over and have dinner with my mom and grandpa. It's good to have food with good company," she insisted with a bright smile.
Atemu looked at the hope and happiness shining on Yuugi's face, and wondered why she even bothered to hesitate in the first place. "Sure."