Journey Home


Chaos Notes:  First off, I had to watch every episode of YGO I have to put myself back into the YGO mode after so long an absence from writing it.  Not that I minded, of course…neither did my hikari.  Caitlin’s happy now.  Second, I decided that the two songs I chose for this fic were perfect fits to what I thought should happen after the final episode of YGO.  But, keep in mind that I just took what I know from reading episode synopsis, and from pics I’ve seen on the ‘net.  Most of what this fic is happens to be pure wishful fiction…considering I haven’t actually seen those episodes yet.

Disclaimer:  I don’t own Yu-Gi-Oh! or its characters.  I make no money from writing this fic.
I don’t own the songs The Journey Home or Mysterious Days.  They belong to the incredible, phenomenal voice of Sarah Brightman.  *bows humbly*  She’s a goddess, I swear.

Warnings:  Yaoi, angst, mild language, hinted citrus-y material.  PG-13-ish.
*SPOILER WARNING!!!!*

Pairings:  Yugi/Yami Yugi (primarily), Seto/Joey mentioned.

Dedication:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEN!!!! (and CJ, too!)  *tackleglomps*
WE (Kali & muses) LOVE YOU!!!!

~ lyrics ~
thoughts
{telepathy}

~*~
JOURNEY HOME
~*~

            Two giant stone doors closed with a resounding crack of sound.  The finality of it hit the young man standing before them with a clenching in his chest.

            Yami, his Darkness, the Pharaoh Atem and King of Games, was gone.

            Everything was over now.

            Behind him, the group of his friends who had been with him throughout his many trials and ordeals – even those who had once been enemies – stood watching the teen with pity and sympathy.  Solomon Mutou watched his grandson sorrowfully, knowing that despite Yugi’s words earlier, despite how ready he was to let go of Yami and say goodbye, there was a part of the hikari that would never let go of the yami.

            For what Light could be complete and whole without its Dark?

            Anzu took a step toward Yugi, intending to go to him and offer comfort.  It was true that she had feelings for him, deep ones, and that she wanted to be with him always.  But she’d seen how Yugi had looked up at Yami, tears pouring down his face, with a love so strong it had seemed as if she could see a shining golden cord between them, linking them irrevocably and indestructibly.  At that moment, Anzu had known, without a doubt, that even if Yugi did return her feelings for him someday, she would always be second and would never see Yugi’s amethyst eyes look at her as they did him.  Yet she didn’t hate either of yami or hikari, and even now all she wanted was to comfort her best friend – for that was what Yugi was and always would be to her, no matter what.

            Before she could get far, though, Joey was holding her back and shaking his head.  Anzu opened her mouth to inquire why, when the earth began to tremble and shake.

            Yugi looked around, a little dazed, his eyes going wide in alarm when large cracks appeared in the walls and ceiling.

            And then the spirit of Shadi appeared, hovering over the stone sarcophagus that housed the Millennium Items.

            “The Pharaoh’s task has been completed.  Everything has returned to how it should be.  Chosen One…

            Yugi looked up at him.  “What’s happening?”

            “There is no more use for the Items any longer.  This place will return to the desert sands and never be found again.  You must leave, Young One, before you are all trapped here.  Please!  Hurry…

            Reluctant to leave so soon, but nonetheless not wishing to be buried under the sand, Yugi nodded and turned, dashing down the steps and running toward his friends.

            Seto Kaiba was already propelling Mokuba back toward the entrance.  Tristan, Duke, and Ryou were right behind them.  Ishizu and Marik hurried out with Odeon at their side, and Joey, Anzu, and Gramps followed as Yugi ushered them out, large chunks of rock and stone crashing down behind them as the ceiling began to collapse in on them.

~ Setting out just like the sun
That’s never seen the rain ~

            Once safely outside in the brightness of the Egyptian sun, its heat beating down on them after hours in the cool darkness of the tomb, Yugi stopped and turned to watch in painful loss and sorrow as the entrance to the tomb collapsed and disappeared beneath the sands.

            “Yami…” the youth whispered, tears slipping down his cheeks again.  In the ancient, nearly lost language of his yami, the hikari said his final farewell and confessed what had been in his heart for years now but never expressed.  “Rest well, Atem, and know that I loved you.  I will always love you, my Dark one.  May the Gods keep you and welcome you home.”

            Little did he know…the Gods had plans of their own.

*~*~*~*

~ Stepping out we’re homeward bound
And never be the same ~

            Marik waved goodbye to Yugi and the rest of the group as they boarded Kaiba’s private jet, which would return them to Japan.

            “Yugi loved him.”  He said quietly.  His sister and Odeon looked at him in surprise.

            “Master Marik?”  Odeon inquired, not sure he understood.

            “Pharaoh Atem.  Yugi loved him.”  Marik folded his arms over his chest as the jet began to turn around to slowly make its way to the runway in preparation for take-off.  “I saw it at Battle City, you know.  It was in Yugi’s eyes whenever he spoke of his Majesty.”

~ Ah – we lay our hearts wide open ~

            “Was this before or after your duel with them in the finals?”  Ishizu asked, frowning slightly, for if what Marik said was true, then she would worry for Yugi now, in the aftermath.

            “Both.  I couldn’t say for certain whether or not the Pharaoh felt the same – at least not back then.  Atem was too enigmatic and unreadable, even without all his memories.  But today, at the tomb…it was written all over his face when he told Yugi to get up.”  Marik hugged himself, suddenly feeling very tired.  And under that was grief on Yugi’s behalf.

~ Ah – we live mysterious days ~

            “Oh Marik…I’m afraid you are right.”  Ishizu shook her head sadly, draping an arm around her little brother’s shoulders.  “I wish there was something we could do for him.”

            “Yugi has proven to be far stronger than anyone had ever believed.”  Odeon spoke up.  “The Pharaoh said it himself – Yugi’s strength comes from his kindness.  It’s what makes him unbeatable.  And it is what will pull him through this.”

            “I’d like to believe that, Odeon.”  Marik sighed and leaned into his sister warily.  “Do you think he’ll be okay, sister?”

            Ishizu was silent for a moment as they watched the jet cruise down the runway and rise up into the sky to disappear over the horizon.  Hugging Marik tightly, she smiled as a feeling of peace suddenly washed over her, and – for the first time since she’d given the Millennium Necklace to Yugi – she had a glimpse of the future.

            “Trust in the Gods, my brother.  I think they shall make everything all right.”  She finally replied.

~ Ah – the spell cannot be broken ~

            Odeon and Marik looked at her a bit strangely, but when they saw the sparkle in her eyes and the mysterious smile on her face, they couldn’t help smiling also.  They understood that expression quite well.

            “Take care, Yugi.”  Marik said then, turning to lead his sister and the man he would always call ‘brother’ from the airport to go home.  “The Gods work in mysterious ways…”

~ Ah – we live mysterious days ~

*~*~*~*

            Yugi stared out the window of his own private little cabin on Kaiba’s jet.  The others were gathered in the common room, but Yugi, who was beyond tired, wanted nothing more than to be alone for a while where he could give in to his emotions and simply cry.

~ The journey home
Is never too long ~

            He could hardly believe it had all ended.  After all this time, it was over and he was going home.  Home…to Japan.

            Yugi curled up in his chair, hugging his knees tightly and sniffling.  I know you told me not to cry, Yami, but I can’t help it.  You belong to the past, and I wanted you to be able to return to it.  He reached out to grab a tissue and blow his nose.  Your journey has been ridiculously long and I am happy that you can finally rest peacefully.  But…but that doesn’t stop my heart from aching.  I miss you already, Yami.

~ Your heart arrives before the train ~

            A brisk knock at his door drew his attention, and he unfolded himself from the chair, wiping at his cheeks and eyes as he went to answer it.

            Seto Kaiba stood on the other side.  He looked down at Yugi with wary, icy-blue eyes, and Yugi looked back up at him with his own slightly surprised amethyst ones.

            “Seto?”

            “I know you wanted to be alone, Yugi…but may I come in?”  Kaiba asked.  Too curious to deny him, Yugi stepped aside and allowed the tall brunette to pass, closing the door behind him.  Yugi gestured for Kaiba to take a seat, and the petit youth returned to his own chair, drawing his knees up to his chest once more.

            “Was there something you wanted to talk about, Kaiba?”  Yugi wondered.

            “No.  Not really.”  Seto frowned, almost to himself.  He wasn’t really sure why he was there either.  “I don’t really know why I came here.  But…I guess…” he looked down at the floor, embarrassed.  “I guess I was just worried.  About you.”

            Startled, Yugi blinked at him.  “No offence, but you’re the last person I expected to hear say that.”

            Kaiba made a face.  “Look, Yugi.  I’ll be honest.  This whole entire thing is so unbelievable it’s ridiculous.  Who in their right mind would believe any of this ever happened?”

            “No one has to.  We know it did, and that’s enough.  We will never forget these days – years – and we’ve gained so much from them, haven’t we?”  Yugi watched the usually unflappable genius get up and begin to pace.

~ The journey home
Is never too long ~

            “Until a few hours ago, there was still a lingering doubt in my mind about all of this.”  Kaiba blew out a confused breath.  “All of it started so long ago, and yet it seems like only yesterday I was challenging you to our first duel.”

            Yugi nodded, the corners of his mouth turning upward a bit in a small smile.  “We’ll always have those memories, Seto.  The good and the bad.”

~ Some yesterdays always remain ~

            “Yugi…” Kaiba began, then paused, snapping his mouth shut.  He had no idea how to say what he wanted, to express his thoughts and emotions as everyone else seemed to have no problem doing.  “I’m only going to say this once, alright?  I’m just going to say it and it will never be mentioned again.”

            That was a command that sounded exactly like the Seto Kaiba Yugi had come to know and love as a friend.  So he merely nodded in agreement.

            Accepting that, Kaiba blurted out, “I am your friend, Yugi Mutou.  And I know you’re grieving.  I just wanted to…offer my sympathies and…to let you know that if you need someone to talk to, someone who will just listen, then you can come to me.  Anytime.”  The cold CEO of Kaiba Corp. blushed bright red and forced himself to meet his rival’s gaze dead on.

            Yugi understood.  And it made tears sting his eyes yet again.  Getting up slowly, the hikari walked up to Kaiba and hugged him.  He felt the taller teen stiffen but a moment later he relaxed and two arms curled around his shoulders and back, returning the hug.

            “Thank you, Seto.”  Yugi said, voice muffled by Kaiba’s shirt.  “You don’t know how much I appreciate that.”  He pulled back and offered a watery, wobbling smile.  Kaiba sighed and handed him a tissue.

            “Whatever.  I’m not very good at this sort of thing.  Though…Mokuba seems to think I do alright.”  He shrugged.  Then a gleam entered his eyes.  “Don’t get me wrong, Yugi.  We’re still rivals, as much as I’m admitting to friendship.  Which, by the way, I don’t think I will ever be able to understand.”

            Yugi couldn’t help giggling at that, and the sound made Kaiba smile – just a little.

            “It doesn’t matter.”  He winked at Kaiba.  “I wouldn’t trade our rivalry for anything, Seto.”

            Kaiba gave an indelicate snort and went to the door.  “I’m going back out to keep an eye on the rest of the pack.”  His expression went just a touch wicked and his smile was all teeth.  “Got to make sure the Mutt doesn’t devour all the food in the galley all by himself.”

            Yugi shook his head wryly.  “When are you going to put yourself and Joey out of your miseries and ask him out?”

            Kaiba just looked at him and shrugged.  “And ruin the vast amount of amusement I get from tormenting him?  Never.”  He stepped out into the hall and nodded to Yugi.  “I’ll see you later.  You try and get some rest, Yugi.”

            The door closed behind him, and the former Keeper of the Puzzle was left alone once more.

            With a sigh, Yugi decided to take Kaiba’s advice and went to the bed, crawling beneath the covers and huddling into a ball.

            I’ll be home soon.  He thought as he closed his eyes.  Maybe then I’ll feel better about everything.

~ I’m going back to where my heart was light
When my pillow was a ship I sailed through the night ~

            He fell asleep within minutes, and his restless mind and soul brought him dreams of Yami, dreams born of all the memories he possessed of the time they’d had together.

            And deep in his slumber, he didn’t notice the damp spots on his pillow.

*~*~*~*

~ The journey home is never too long ~
When open arms are waiting there ~

            The next couple of weeks went by at a lazy pace.  It seemed that life was returning to normal, for the most part.  Kaiba and Mokuba went back to running Kaiba Corp. and scheming their newest inventions.  Duke Devlin went back to his business and began working on a new dice game.

            As for Yugi, Joey, Anzu, Tristan, and Ryou, the five teens returned to school in order to finish off their classes in preparation for life after high school.

            Much to Yugi’s amusement, Joey finally go fed up with Kaiba’s name-calling one day and demanded a date.

            “If you’re gonna keep callin’ me that, Kaiba, then you’d better start callin’ me your boyfriend, too!”  The blonde blurted out in the middle of their usual bickering.

            “Oh really?  And here I thought that went without saying, Joey.”  Kaiba practically purred, leaning in close.  “You’re my Mutt, after all.”

            Joey turned a bright shade of pink and startled the brunette by suddenly glomping him and hanging on like a monkey, refusing to let go.  “Well, in that case…” he replied.  Then he proceeded to kiss Kaiba boneless.

            And that settled that – though it didn’t end the arguments and name-calling.

~ The journey home is never too long
There’s room to love and room to spare ~

            Yugi was happy for them, as were the rest of their friends.  But at the same time, he was envious.  More and more he began to wonder if things would have turned out differently had he told Yami his feelings before the end.  All that succeeded in doing, however, was making him depressed.

            The others noticed the change in him, but they didn’t know what to say or do.  They all knew he’d be different now – who wouldn’t be?  So they did what they could – they tried to be there whenever Yugi needed them.

*~*~*~*

            It had been a month since Yugi had said goodbye to Yami.

            Ryou was the one who noticed how sad Yugi truly was on a particularly bad day for the hikari.  That day after school, the white-haired teen pulled Yugi aside before he could leave for home.

            “Hey, Yugi?”

            “Hi, Ryou.”  Yugi looked up at him with a sad smile.  “Something on your mind?”

            “Not really.  But I’ve noticed you seem to have something on your mind.”  Ryou smiled gently, draping an arm around his shoulders.  “Come with me, Yugi.  Let’s you and I take a walk.”

            Unable to protest as he was ushered in the direction of the park, Yugi let himself be pulled along.

            When they got there, Ryou slowed down to a wandering sort of pace.  The two teens reached a deserted bluff overlooking the sea and took a seat on the bench.

            The comfortable silence was broken by Yugi, finally, just as Ryou had hoped.  He felt that Yugi had been hoarding his emotions in for too long.

~ I want to feel the way that I did then ~

            “I feel so empty, Ryou.”

            The white-haired duelist glanced at him, but said nothing.

            “I got used to having him with me, I guess.  He was always there, and I never felt lonely after I solved the Millennium Puzzle, not like I had before.”  Yugi stared out at the setting sun, not even noticing the tears that fell silently down his face.  “I want to go back to that time, Ryou.  I know it’s impossible, and irrational, but I want it.”

            “Oh, Yugi…” Ryou felt a pang of sympathy and took one of Yugi’s hands in his own, feeling how icy-cold it was and rubbing warmth back into it.  “Of course you feel that way.  The Pharaoh wasn’t just a spirit or ghost – not for you.  He was part of you.  He was your yami.”  Yugi stared up at him with liquid amethyst eyes, and Ryou wanted to cry, too.  After all Yugi had been through and all he’d done for the world, he didn’t deserve this misery.  “You loved him with all your heart, didn’t you?”

            “Yes.”  Yugi whispered brokenly.  “And I never told him.”

            “He knew.  Yugi, I’m sure he knew!  How could he not know?”  Ryou drew the smaller teen against his side and held him protectively.  “I know I don’t remember very much, but from everything you and the others have told me and what I do remember…Yugi, Yami would have done anything for you.  And he did.  He loved you and he wouldn’t want you to be sad.”

            “I know.”  Yugi sniffled and huddled into his friend’s warmth.  “I know.  I remember the time I finally solved the Puzzle…not long after I met Joey and Tristan.”

            Ryou made an encouraging noise to show he was listening.

~ And think my wishes through before I wish again ~

            “I didn’t have any friends then.  I got picked on by bullies constantly.  I couldn’t understand why they did, and I didn’t understand why no one wanted to be my friend.  Gramps saw that I was lonely and to take my mind off it, he gave me the Puzzle, challenging me to solve it.”  Yugi spoke softly, his voice still thick with tears.  “When I finally did solve it, I was so excited.  I did something, Ryou, something that is quite possibly foolish and selfish.”

            “What do you mean?”  Ryou looked down at him, confused.  Yugi was the least selfish person he’d ever met.

            “I wished on the Puzzle.  I wished for it to give me a friend.  So that I’d never have to be alone again.”  Yugi shook his head.  “ ‘Be careful what you wish for’ they say.  It’s true.  Oh, I got friends, and I’m eternally grateful for that.  I used to believe that my wish had been answered by Joey, Tristan, and Anzu – and later all the rest of you, too.  But now…” He trailed off.

            “You think it was actually Yami.”  Ryou stated in realization.  “And now that he’s moved on to the afterlife…”

            Yugi swallowed a sob and whispered, “They also say ‘home is where the heart is.’  I thought when I got home everything would get better.”  He curled into Ryou and buried his face in his school jacket.  “But it hasn’t!  I left my heart buried under the sands of the Egyptian desert!”  The tears burst out of him, unable to be contained any more.

            It nearly broke Ryou’s heart.  He held the grieving hikari as he cried out his sorrow.

~ The journey home is never too long
Home hopes to heal the deepest pain ~

*~*~*~*

            It was dark when Ryou walked Yugi home.  He’d insisted on it, not wanting to leave his young friend alone.  It was a clear, warm night, and the stars were out in full force, as was the moon shining bright and full in the sky.

~ Shine again Arabian moon
And be the guiding light ~

            They walked in silence, neither having anything to say.  Yugi just wanted to sleep.  He was exhausted.

            Rounding the corner and coming into sight of the Game Shop, Ryou slowed and frowned.  There was a strange feeling in the air.  Everything was still and very quiet, with a sort of expectancy that made the hairs on his arms and the back of his neck stand up.

~ Life is changing like the dune
Wandering in the night ~

            Yugi noticed Ryou had stopped and turned, giving him a questioning look.  “Ryou?  What’s wrong?”

            “Don’t you feel something strange, Yugi?”  Ryou was looking around.  “If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I was sensing…shadow magic?!”

            Yugi’s eyes went wide and he stood perfectly still, closing his eyes and concentrating.  Ryou was right.  Frowning, because this magic felt strangely familiar and because he couldn’t believe he hadn’t sensed it before (blaming it on his fatigue), Yugi opened his eyes and tried to pinpoint the source.

            A gasp from Ryou made him look at the white-haired teen, then in the direction Ryou was staring in shock and awe.

~ Ah – we lay our hearts wide open ~

            Time seemed to stop, and Yugi’s heart began to pound in his chest.  He couldn’t breathe.

            From the darkness of the shadows, walking toward him from down the middle of the street, a figure emerged.  Yugi couldn’t see his face, but he really didn’t need to.

~ Ah – we live mysterious days ~

            “It can’t be.”  He whispered to himself.  “I’m losing it.  I’m hallucinating…”

            “Yugi…it’s…that looks like…” Ryou stammered, mahogany eyes wide.

            “Atem?”  Yugi inquired tentatively, taking a step forward.

            The figure stopped just in the distance, the silhouette cast from the moonlight behind him keeping him shrouded from view as distinct as Yugi’s own shadow.

            “Yugi?  Aibou, is that you?”

            The young Light sucked in a breath and began to tremble.  “That voice…Yami!”  He cried, running full throttle toward the figure.  “Yami!”

            “Hikari!”  It was Yami, and he stepped into the light just in time to catch his other half from his flying leap.  Yugi wrapped himself around the returned Pharaoh and held on for dear life.  Yami returned the fierce embrace tightly, burying his face in Yugi’s hair.  “I’ve missed you, aibou.  I’ve missed you so much more than I can ever say.”

~ Ah – the spell cannot be broken ~

            “Yami…Atem…I’ve missed you!  I’ve been so empty and alone…” Yugi burst into tears of joy.  “You’re really here!”  He looked up at the Pharaoh with pleading eyes, hoping beyond hope as he met Yami’s bloody crimson gaze.  “To stay?”

            Atem smiled and gently rubbed away his hikari’s tears.  With a small nod, he replied, “The Gods have granted me a second life – a normal one, without shadow magic and evil beings trying to destroy the world.  I moved on, but when I got there I realized I was still incomplete.  My heart…was here.  With you.”

            Yugi whimpered and burrowed into his yami’s comforting arms.  “I should have told you…I wanted to tell you before…Atem, I love you.”

            {I love you, my beautiful little Light.}  Atem returned mentally, and Yugi shivered, feeling the bond he’d been mourning the loss of return and snap back into place.

            {How…?}  He wondered.

            {The shadow games may be done and forever finished, but I still have my own abilities.}  The Pharaoh winked at Yugi and the amethyst eyed duelist let out a joyous, relieved laugh that was music to Ryou’s ears standing at a small distance away.

            The white-haired teen smiled to himself, wiping away a few stray tears.  He looked up at the sky as the two reunited soul mates became locked in a heated embrace, forgetting about the world around them.

            Everything’s as it should be.  Ryou grinned and turned to head home.  Thank the Gods.  They work in mysterious ways…

~ Ah – we live mysterious days ~

            He left them then, giving them the privacy to begin their new lives together.

******************************

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