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A Brotherly New Year's Eve

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. This story takes place shortly after "A Spirit Summoned" from season one. Duel Academy is still out for winter break.

Syrus stared at his clock and sighed softly. Thirty minutes until midnight. Thirty minutes to a new year. Not much to look forward to, really. In a short day or two, he would be back to Duel Academy, to the room he shared with Jaden and Chumley.

Jaden. The first friend he made at school and who seemed more like a brother than Zane. Gloom hung around the short boy like a cloud when he thought of Zane. He felt like he was a disappointment to his big brother. He wasn’t a great duelist like Zane was.

‘That’s why Zane pretends he doesn’t have a brother. He’s ashamed of me.’ Syrus rubbed his eyes so no tears would fall.

A knock at his door caught his attention. Keeping his tone normal, he said, “Come in.”

The door opened to reveal Zane on the other side. Great. His brother was the last person he wanted to spend the last…fifteen minutes of the year with.

“What do you want?” Syrus asked with an uncharacteristic tone of anger in his voice.

Zane was visibly startled by Syrus’s harsh tone before saying, “I wanted to ring in the new year with you.”

“Oh.” Syrus’s voice went soft. “I’m sorry I snapped at you.”

“It’s okay. I think.” Joining Syrus on the bed, he asked, “Is there something wrong?”

“No.” Syrus answered so quickly that it rang false to Zane’s ears.

“There is something wrong. Tell me.”

The commanding tone in Zane’s voice didn’t sit well with Syrus. “No. I won’t tell you.”

“And why not? We’re brothers. Isn’t solving problems what brothers do for one another?”

“Not really, but I guess I’ll tell you anyway. My problem is you.”

“ME!?” Zane was shocked.

“Yes. You.” Syrus’s voice became angry and harsh. All of his emotions came spilling out as he continued. “Ever since we could duel, you’ve always treated me as if I was inferior! You kept telling me this over and over. It’s no wonder my self-esteem is so low! When I arrived at the Academy this year, you acted like I was some worthless scum and that we weren’t even related! I’ve tried to live up to your expectations and earn your respect and basically I’m sick and tired of it!” Tears poured down his cheeks as he glared at his brother. He took in and released a deep breath. It kind of felt good to let out all of that resentment out.

“Sy, I didn’t realize you felt that way. I know I was hard on you, but I thought it was the only way to improve your skills.”

“I think support and encouragement would work a lot better. Jaden does that and I’ve gotten a little better.”

“Perhaps, I should resolve to be more supportive.”

“I’d like that.”

“Sy, promise me that next time something’s troubling you, you’ll tell me about it.”

“I promise.”

“Good.” Putting an arm around Syrus’s shoulders, Zane squeezed them. Together, the two of them watched the clock and counted down.

“Three, two, one. Happy New Year, Sy.”

“Happy New Year, Zane,” Syrus murmured as he fell asleep against his brother, finally at peace with him.

The End