Title: Maybe Tomorrow
Pairings/Characters: Juudai, Johan, Yubel
Word Count: 2729
Summery: He didn’t often think of home, and he soon realised that it meant different things to different people.
Notes: A gift fic for <lj~user="rhodanum">.She requested a fic inspired by this song and here is the result. It kind of, ran anyway from me and is a lot longer then what I had planned, and may have just inspired a multi chapter fic that I’ll write later on. Hope you like it and Merry Christmas! ^^
He closed his eyes as he stepped forward, leaving the warmth of the Australian summer behind as he entered the coolness of the Gentle Darkness. When he opened his eyes again he found himself surrounded by snow, in front of a very familiar house. Next to him he could feel one of his travelling companions land softly beside him, gasping slightly when he realized where they were.
“Johan,” Juudai asked slowly as they both came to a stop. “Is there a reason you bought us here?” It was a fair question, the only times they ever arrived at either of their homes was when one of them wished it. Beside him Johan laughed quietly.
“For once no, I guess your powers bought us here on their own for some reason,” Johan replied as he started to rummage through his bag for the key. Juudai made no move to stop him, seeing as they were here they might as well go inside and warm up, despite needing the cold not five minutes ago. With a small triumphant cheer Johan produced the key and within a few moments they were inside. It was a small house as there were times of the year when no lived in it and rarely were all its occupants home at the same time. Johan and his older sister shared the house but as they both travelled often, although by different means, they rarely saw each other in consequence even though they did keep in touch.
Juudai dropped his bag by one of the couches in the room closest to the kitchen. Johan was trying to determine how long it had been since someone had been there and if any of the food was edible. From the back of his mind he felt Yubel stir, she didn’t usually appear here for reasons she had never elaborated on. Juudai gave a small grin.
‘So it was you that bought us here then,’ he teased. Yubel playfully hissed at that remark but didn’t show herself as Johan re-entered the room at that point.
“Sorry Juudai, but I think it’s been awhile since my sister was last here. In fact we may have been the last ones so there isn’t any food beside some tinned peaches,” he said as he walked in. Juudai looked up at him.
“If it’s good I’ll eat it,” he cheerfully replied. Johan nodded and wondered back into the kitchen where some of the smaller Gem Beasts had appeared. Next to Juudai Yubel decided to appear but remained silent as she did. Looking around the room she had an odd look on her face which took Juudai a while to realise was there.
“What’s up? I was kidding you know,” he said half nonchalantly and a tiny bit worried once he realised it was there. Yubel stuck her tongue out.
“Of course. I’m just,” she paused. “Thinking.”
“Thinking?” Juudai repeated.
Once again Johan entered the room, this time holding a can of something triumphantly.
“Look, tin spaghetti!” he sounded way too excited for the discovery at hand. Juudai laughed at the grin on Johan’s face.
“Hey it’s still good too. This is exciting,” he said only half seriously. Juudai grinned back.
“I didn’t say anything,” he protested. Johan’s eyes flicked up and he noticed Yubel standing there, ignoring him as she continued to look around the room.
“Yeah well you didn’t have to,” he replied after a moment and walked back into the kitchen, leaving the other two alone.
“It reminds me of home,” Yubel said almost wistfully after Johan had left the room, her voice soft. This confused Juudai as he styles of their houses were completely different. He looked at her, his expression clearly asking for some elaboration. Yubel smirked slightly.
“Not that one. And it’s not our house I’m thinking of. I just remember seeing something similar back home,” she trailed off. She only ever referred to one place as ‘home,’ and he didn’t think it existed anymore. It was most likely that she did remember something but he knew she would refuse to say anymore. Juudai looked thoughtful as Yubel went on her own trip down memory lane as she looked around the room again. While he did have some memories of back then, they mostly involved Yubel and her transformation. He hadn’t been able to glean anymore during their fusion, all he had was old feelings and a couple of mental pictures of long past events that nearly exclusively centred around Yubel.
“What was it like there?” he asked impulsively. In the middle of Johan’s living room probably wasn’t the best place for this conversation, but since it had been the innocent cause of the trip down memory lane there as nothing they could do about it. Yubel considered not answering him, but that was mostly due to her not knowing how she wanted to answer him rather then her wanting to ignore his question.
“It was different,” she replied but refused to say anymore. Juudai would have to unlock those memories himself when the time was right and there was nothing she could do to push that. It was a bonus that it infuriated him a little when she did it and usually his reaction was amusing to watch as he tried hard to remember a time he couldn’t.
But there was something different about her tone this time and that made him pause. He knew that Yubel missed those times and while she was pleased with their current arrangement the fact that they were both different now sometimes made her a little sad. Not that she ever said anything, nor was it likely she ever would, but he knew that while it was only a small infrequent feeling there was still some nostalgia for the past that lingered.
However she was far happier now then she had been in a long time, so he didn’t worry about her all that much.
There were times when he too thought of his home, but for him that was a more conflicting image. More often then not that meant Duel Academy and all of his friends whom he tried his best to keep in contact with, which was an easy matter when he finally mastered the art of teleporting. Being the Herald of Gentle Darkness did come with its perks after all. After what had happened during his final year of school none of them were too keen for him to just drop off the face of the earth and abandon all contact with them like he had attempted, this was something Rei frequently told him. He would always laugh and in the back of his mind Yubel would make some snide comment and he would promise to visit her again soon. There was always the possibility he would drop in on any of them tomorrow, and none of them would have it any other way.
But there were a few times when he thought of his home town and the house his parents lived. He was sure people were in that house less often then there was in the house he was currently standing in (why Johan’s sister had two houses he never understood. Johan had said something about a boyfriend but in the end he had no coherent reason,) but he did miss his parents none the less. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen them, thanks to the phone O’Brien had given him he did speak to them when it wasn’t ridiculous too but it wasn’t the same and he wondered why he didn’t find himself there more then he did. It was true that he had learnt to control his powers more or less, it was just that most of the time he let it guide him to where they needed to be and it was easily influenced by the thoughts and whims of his travelling companions. Which was why they found themselves at this house more often then they initially planned.
From inside the kitchen he could hear Johan talking to the Gem Beasts. He was usually at ease no matter where he was, but there was something about being home that made him even more so. Juudai felt a little guilty at this. He had been he one who had dragged Johan away from it and even though he had planned on joining the Pro Leagues once upon a time he knew now that wasn’t for him. But Johan had sort of been apart of it, and he wondered if he missed it at all. Or the rest of his family for that matter, even if it was small.
On another level he knew that Johan had chosen to follow him, and that he also wanted to help people so the guilt wasn’t overwhelming. In fact he almost didn’t recognise it for what it was, the only reason he did was because he had spent so long feeling that way and old habits died hard.
While Juudai was lost in his own thoughts Yubel was assaulted by memories she didn’t want to remember. She knew why Johan was so familiar, he had been the keeper of the Gem Beasts in his own past life and even if they hadn’t really made it to this world until now, they had been active in her own homeland during that time. Even through the passage of time Johan still decorated in a similar way, even though the house was different it was set up in a similar fashion to how it had been then. These memories weren’t all that strong, she hadn’t cared all that much for him even then, but they were powerful none the less and she didn’t think there was anyone, the Gem Beasts included, who knew about this. So knew she had to keep it to herself, for the time to unlock those memories would come in due time and she wasn’t all that keen in speeding up the process.
Neither of them noticed how much time had passed while they had been trapped in their memories and thoughts for when Johan cleared his throat and bought them back into reality it was clear he had been standing there a while.
“So are you still hungry or is space really all that interesting?” he asked with a smile as he motioned towards the kitchen.
“Wait, food?” Juudai asked once he realised what Johan had said. Johan nodded and walked back into the kitchen, which had a small table which had two bowls with steam rising out of them on it. Juudai didn’t say anything until they had both sat down; even Yubel was standing on one side of the room near the window which was covered in snow and frost. Sapphire Pegasus stood on the other side not exactly keeping an eye on her but a little wary none the less. All of the Gem Beasts were around her and there was nothing Johan or Juudai could do to ease their minds on the matter.
“Do you regret coming with me Johan?” Juudai asked with a wistful note in his voice, somewhat out of the blue from Johan’s point of view. Regret wasn’t exactly the word he had been looking for, but it was close enough. Johan tilted his head as he gasped softly in surprise.
“Of course not. I’ve wanted to help other like this for a long time, and that I get to do it with you is better than anything I ever imagined,” Johan answered without hesitation. Yubel bristled slightly but said nothing. Johan looked at him keenly.
“What’s wrong Juudai?” he asked softly. Juudai looked up with a start. Johan grinned slightly; Juudai was terrible at hiding what he was feeling, although he had gotten better at that recently. But today he seemed to be letting his new guard down and it was obvious something was on his mind.
“Don’t you miss Freda though?” it was becoming clear to Johan that Juudai wasn’t going to drop it. He sighed and looked his friend in the eye.
“Of course, she is my family and my only human family left. I love her dearly. But she has Kurt and is rarely here anyway. I wouldn’t see her much more than I do now even if I was here. Beside, I wanted to come with you. I’ve always wanted to be a bridge between Duel Spirits and us ever since I realised not everyone can see them. And who better to travel with then my best friend? So no, I have nothing to regret,” Johan paused and took a breath. Juudai wasn’t quite avoiding his gaze, but there was more to the issue then just Johan, he could see that. “So what’s up?”
Juudai wasn’t sure how he wanted to answer that. Johan had seen through him, he shouldn’t have expected less really. Johan looked across from Juudai to Yubel and half considered asking her what was going on, but at the look on her face decided not to. Even if they had accepted each other and could get along reasonably well at times, it was clear that now wouldn’t be one of those times.
“I was just wondering why we ended up here if you didn’t bring us and if it was my powers then why not Japan,” he finally answered. It was a fair question and Johan didn’t have an answer for it.
“Well your powers do have a warped sense of humour, they proved that when we visited Greece if you remember,” Johan pointed out with a smile.
“Oh yes, I don’t think that poor woman will ever look at a tomato the same way again,” Juudai smiled softly at the memory.
The conversation lulled at this point as Hane Kuriboh decided that his Master needed some cheering up and that Ruby was going to help. The weird twisted position the two got themselves into was best seen to be believed as wings, tail and fur stuck out on odd angles with the two looking at their respective Masters with imploring eyes.
“Ruby,” Johan gently chided, amused by her antics. Without another word the two continued eating.
“So where are we going next?” Johan asked once they were finished. Juudai shrugged.
“We could try letting the Darkness decide again,” he suggested. “It didn’t turn out too badly.” Johan nodded.
“Sure. Or maybe we could check out the new league the Marufuji’s finally started,” Johan suggested after he thought about it for a moment.
“Are they opening now?” Juudai asked as he tried to calculate how long it had been since he last seen Shou. He did recall him saying something along those lines the last time they had been there a few weeks ago, and he certainly intended on being their for them.
“Well sometime this month anyway,” Johan added vaguely.
“Sounds good, do you know where that would be?” Juudai asked as he looked at the calendar. He couldn’t understand what it said, (and he was sure it was out of date anyway) but it was nice to look at and made counting the days easier. Johan snorted.
“Nope. But even if I did that wouldn’t be any help,” he answered with a laugh. Yubel grimaced from the window.
“Juudai you made me promise never to let him guide again after you landed in the middle of an ocean due to his, slight, miscalculation,” she added.
“Hey. I never claimed that I was good with directions,” Johan faintly protested, although he had to agree with them as landing in the ocean hadn’t been all that fun. He didn’t even know which ocean it had been but he assumed it had been close to England as that had been where they had been going at the time.
“We should get ready to go then,” Juudai said as he stood up. Johan nodded and gathered all the dishes together. It wouldn’t take them long to clear up as they had only been there a few hours.
“So are we ready to go?” Juudai asked a little impatiently as he was ready to go twenty minutes later.
“Yep. Everything’s all shut off and out away. So let’s go,” he replied. Juudai nodded and once again they stepped forward into the coolness of the Gentle Darkness, their destination clearer this time.