Author: Joey Taylor PM
Summer between GOF OTP, round 2. Events in India have drawn the Pharaoh to seek his lost memories, but Bakura has his own plan. Can Yugi, Joey and Hermione find Yami's true name before Bakura destroys Yami, and them, forever?Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 12 - Words: 57,868 - Reviews: 36 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 04-24-11 - Published: 02-08-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5728633
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Waking up in a sarcophagus was a shock.
Joey, who had been the last through the door home, was the first to wake up. The moment the blonde realised what it was he was laid in, he shot to his feet and practically jumped out of it.
"Calm down, Mutt." Seto growled as he sat up, a pounding headache making feel like he wanted to go back to sleep but nothing a cup of coffee wouldn't solve. "These are blatantly replicas. Bakura probably used them to freak him out." Seto waved towards the table where Yami was half led across the edge of the table, unconscious while Bakura was half laid across the table on the opposite side.
"Leave him." Seto commented, flipping open his phone as Joey moved to check that the Pharaoh was alright, "He said he'd follow us out. If he's still out in half an hour's time, you should get worried." With that he climbed out of the sarcophagus, dialled a number and started a huge row with someone on the end of the phone, though from what Joey could catch it sounded like Mokuba had woken up.
It was then Joey realised that Yugi had yet to wake up.
Swiftly casting the diagnostic spell that Madam Pomfrey had taught them, Joey smiled slightly when the red 'heartbeat' and blue 'soul' lights pulsed away steadily, with the hints of purple in the soul and magic lights that depicted a bond to another. He couldn't help but be concerned by the fact that Yugi's yellow 'life energy' and his green 'magic' lights were practically out though, flickering weakly.
Not that he knew what that meant, but he assumed it had something to do with whatever Yugi had used to bring Yami back from the dead.
Joey shuddered as he thought about it. He'd given Kaiba a perfectly reasonable explanation at the time, but the fact of the matter was that no one was quite sure what the link was or how it worked, or even how the whole 'needing each other to live' thing worked.
That Yugi had been able to do what he'd done was a miracle.
Swiftly casting the spell on Hermione and Yami, he scowled when he realised they had no blue lights and Hermione's yellow light was almost non-existent, but there wasn't much he could do about it for now. Neither would wake up until their souls returned to their bodies.
Instead he turned his attention to Yugi who had yet to wake up. Not that Joey was surprised. He remembered the game with Anubis far too well and it had taken Yami over a week to wake up after he had lost almost all his life energy.
Then it hit him. He knew someone who might be able to help the recovery process along...
He flipped his phone open only to find he had about thirty missed calls from his sister. What had happened while he'd been unconscious? Checking the clock on his phone made him scowl. Hermione's parents would be freaking out. They'd been supposed to meet up with them over an hour ago.
Of course how the last few days inside the Memory World translated to just three hours in the real one was beyond him, Yugi had always said time flowed differently when the Shadows were involved, but it seemed a little ridiculous to him.
Making a mental note to apologise to Hermione's parents and breathing a sigh of relief when Hermione's blue soul light started pulsing, he swiftly dialled his sister's number, only for it to ring and ring and ring before disconnecting, the screen flashing up 'No Answer'.
"If you're trying to ring your sister," Seto commented, holding his hand over the mouthpiece of his phone as someone on the other end threw a fit at him, not that Joey could hear what they were saying, "Good luck. She's probably been called into work."
"Why?" Joey asked, confused as to why Seto would know that even as he knelt down to try and wake Yugi up.
Atem sat up slowly, soul light flashing, before Seto could reply. He blinked as he looked around, scowling as his gaze landed on the Tomb Robber opposite him and pulling the Puzzle out of the sand before he got down from the platform.
"You, Pharaoh, are in a lot of trouble." Seto scowled at the King who blinked at him, confused, before dismissing Seto's comment out of hand and moving to Yugi's side, taking his hikari's hand in his own.
"Is he alright?" Joey asked, knowing Yami would know much better than any diagnostic spell could tell him.
"Exhaustion." The Pharaoh sounded guilty as his yellow light, which was faded anyway, dimmed considerably and Yugi's brightened slightly, "Once he's slept himself out and had a good meal, he'll be fine." Atem glanced at Seto as he let go of Yugi's hand, looking exhausted himself, "Why am I in trouble?"
"The Shadows weren't just released into the game." Seto informed him, "It happened everywhere. There are casualties worldwide where the Shadows tried to feast."
Atem scowled and Joey swore.
"Zorc." Atem snarled, his tone speaking quite clearly of his anger, "It has to be. But I didn't think events in the game would affect the real world. Not, at least, until the game was over..."
"The rules changed," Joey said, "Shadi told us that." He paused and looked around, "What happened to Shadi?"
"I don't know." Atem shook his head, having not seen the 'guardian of the Millennium Items' in years, "Joey, take care of Hermione, I'll look after Yugi."
The blonde nodded, wondering how he was going to help Hermione, as Seto snorted and told whoever was on the other end of the phone that yes, he would be into Kaiba Corp later but he was going to check on his brother first. No, he didn't care if there were some rather important people wanting to talk to him. Yes, do all the checks to make sure no one had made their network go crazy. Yes, he did mean do it again if it had already been done and no, he would hold a press conference in his own time, not now.
"Sorry..." Atem started.
"It's not me you have to apologise to." Seto interrupted him, "I don't know whether I can cover up this one. Kaiba Corp's lawyers are good, but this struck on a global scale." On that note, Seto turned away and strode over to the table, where the Millennium Ring was embedded in the sand and the Tomb Robber had yet to move.
Atem and Joey looked at each other as Seto let out a hiss, then turned to look at the CEO. Seto had cast the diagnostic spell on the Tomb Robber, only for nothing to happen. Nothing lit up. There was nothing. No magic, no soul light, no life energy and no heartbeat.
Seto frowned and put his fingers on Bakura's neck, his touch confirming what the spell had told him.
The Memory World had been Bakura Malfoy's last game.
The King of Thieves was dead.
The Shadows were gone.
The Shadows were gone.
Tea couldn't believe it.
Gone. Gone. Gone.
Suddenly she crashed as what had most likely happened hit her.
Yugi and Yami must have died for the Shadows to be released and someone else would have had to have gone through what Yami had gone through in the past to get rid of them again.
So who had sealed themselves away for five thousand years, giving up their name, their memories and half their soul to save the world this time?
She tried to call the shop in Domino but all the phone lines were busy, a result, most likely, of everyone trying to phone their friends and loved ones to find out if they were all right. It was understandable but, at the same time, frustrating.
"Tea. You know what happened?" Lydia asked, breaking Tea's train of thoughts and gesturing towards the small group of rowing people, a debate having broken out between the older Shadow-Touched, those with wands and the muggles. "I mean you knew the Pharaoh, right?"
It hurt but Tea nodded.
"Come and talk to them. They might listen to you."
"Please?" Lydia asked, "I promise I'll get you back to campus as soon as we're done here, but people are scared and you're the only one who knows..."
Tea looked around. The Muggles were scared, the wizards had their wands drawn but looked like they weren't sure whether to memory wipe everyone or run for their lives, the Shadow-Touched had all sat down rather heavily, except the few that were caught up in the argument, and everyone looked exhausted.
"Alright. But I'm not sure what to say."
"Just tell them what you told me." With that Lydia dragged Tea into the middle of the arguing group and announced really loudly, "This is Tea Gardener. She was best friends with the Pharaoh who was killed today trying to stop the darkness from doing what it just did. Maybe you should listen to her."
"Why should we?" One of the Muggles demanded, "She's one of them..." He gestured to the Shadow-Touched.
Tea's Phasing Sprite Phobos glowered at the speaker, but when Tea shook her head the Duel Monster backed off. "Because we fought together today, non-magicals, wand users and Shadow-Touched alike, and we might need to do so again in the future."
"And what would you," The huge Muggle man looked her over, unimpressed by the slight, agile girl, "Know of fighting?"
"More than..." Tea trailed off as a Kuriboh appeared out of nowhere in a swirl of Shadows, looked around, and bounced over to her.
TeaTeaTea! The fuzzball broadcast to everyone around them, sounding delighted about something, not that Tea could understand why considering what had happened. Mahado sent me with some news...
"I don't really think..."
It's good news. You'll like it. The Kuriboh promised.
Tea glanced at those around her, wondering how there could be any good news and where this Kuriboh had come from, temporarily forgetting she kept a Kuriboh card in her purse with her loyalty cards. Most seemed irritated at having their 'conversation' interrupted but the Kuriboh didn't really care.
They did it. They beat Zorc! The Kuriboh said, sounding delighted, The Pharaoh and all his friends are alive!
"What?" Tea asked breathlessly, daring to hope.
Mahado told me to tell you that they're alive. It was close but... The Kuriboh gave Tea a confused look when she burst into relieved tears, I thought it was good news.
"What's going on?" One of wizards demanded, confused by what was going on.
"My friends survived."
The news of the Pharaoh's survival had come, surprisingly, not from the dwellers of the Dark Kingdom, whose Lord had been at the Pharaoh's side for many years, but out of the Light Lands where Kisara the White Dragon ruled.
The moment the dragon had returned from her place at the side of Pharaoh Seth she had sent out the news and Mahado had finally found a use for those stupid little fuzzballs the heir was so fond of, sending them with a message for the Pharaoh's friends, the ones who hadn't been involved in the 'Game'.
A message that told of the survival of their friends.
Of course even before she'd sent the news out the Monster World had been in uproar. Zorc was dead but the damage had already been done. The Shadows, while no longer coating the skies of the human world, were free of their seal and anyone who had had the potential to summon Duel Monsters would now be able to.
And most likely had in order to defend themselves from the darkness. A lot of Duel Monsters had met their Duellists for the first time today and excitement was rampant.
The Blue Eyes sisters were no exception.
Though the four of them weren't overly concerned about how much easier it would be it travel to the human world, it was the sheer relief of no longer having to worry about Zorc that had Kisara, Orya, Elise and Kara taking to the skies and flying free without concerns for the first time in almost as long as Kara, the youngest of the Blue Eyes White Dragons, had been in the Monster World.
Oh there would still be problems and there was still a war on the horizon, but today was a day for jubilation.
Tomorrow they could worry about what was on the horizon.
Within Hogwarts the House Elves were serving food and drink to the exhausted but happy defenders of the castle.
When the Shadows had cleared away the surviving adults had been relieved, but it wasn't until they'd entered the Great Hall and found the children exhausted but happy and surrounded by Duel Monsters that they actually understood what had just happened.
As one of the Weasley twins put it so very eloquently, "We won."
It was much more than that though as those who had fought bravely outside the castle found out when they talked to the children, who were discussing the tale and grinning about brave feats they'd pulled off during the fighting.
They hadn't only won here. According to the Duel Monsters, the Shadow Demon that had caused all of this was dead and his influence was gone. The Shadows were free, that much was true, and they were still dangerous but they weren't controlled by HIM anymore.
What had only made things better, to some of them at least, was that there had been a messenger sent to inform them that Yugi and the others were alive.
Professor Dumbledore, who was stood turned to look at the speaker to find it was Dobby, the House Elf he'd taken on when he'd been freed from the Malfoys standing behind him.
"What is it Dobby?"
"Professor Dumblydore has a call in his office." Dobby informed the Headmaster. "Minister Fudgy wants to talk to you."
He'd expected the Minister to call, but not this quickly. He hadn't had time to speak to anyone who had been directly involved in the cause of all this, nor had he decided what his stance on the matter was yet.
"Thank you Dobby. I'll be up shortly."
"You alright Tristan?" Mel asked as the taxi took them to the airport. Neither of them knew if their flight would be leaving, but they hoped that they could get to Japan safely.
Tristan, who was looking out of the window and watching the world go past, turned to look at her.
"You're taking all of this calmly." He commented, having been surprised by her level headedness while the Shadows had covered the skies.
"It's kind of hard to freak out about this after I spoke with Athena." Mel shrugged, referencing the Fairy/Effect monster who lived in her deck and who had saved her life just quarter of an hour ago, "She told me a lot and that Kuriboh filled in more."
Tristan grumbled slightly and turned away again. The Kuriboh in question had come from the only Duel Monsters card he currently had on him. He'd stopped carrying a deck a while back, there hadn't been much point considering how bad he was at the game and that he had no magic related to it. Or at least he hadn't thought he had.
He'd only kept the Kuriboh card because it reminded him of his friends.
Now it turned out he could have been more use to Mel if he'd had a deck on him. Once again he felt like he'd been useless, just as he had when all he'd been able to do was stand to one side and cheer on Yugi and Joey...
At least his friends had come through this latest trial safely.
He'd thought the worst for a while, but when the Shadows had cleared he'd hoped that they'd managed to once again do the impossible and Kuriboh had only confirmed it.
Once again Yugi and Yami had managed to save the world.
He just wondered how long they'd be in hospital this time.
Mahado was exhausted. The game had only been three hours long and yet he was more exhausted then when he'd been helping Yugi and the Pharaoh get through the Capsule Monsters world, and that had lasted almost two days.
It was more a mental exhaustion though, rather than just a physical one. It had been a learning experience for him almost as much as it had been for the Pharaoh, having been thrown back into his role as the Pharaoh's friend and closest advisor, a role he had almost forgotten how to play it had been so long.
Not that the Pharaoh, Atem, had been in any better a position. If anything he'd had it worse. Mahado had at least had a script to play to, having been forced into his old role. The Pharaoh hadn't had such a script and at times it had shown.
Not that it mattered. The events of the game didn't affect the events of the past, and Yami Mutou was a very different person to Pharaoh Atem, it was natural that he'd play the role differently to how he would have played it if he'd had his memories.
But then if he'd had his memories, he wouldn't have needed to play such a risky game.
"Mahado?" The Dark Magician, who had been considering travelling through to the human world to check on the Pharaoh and his friends, paused at the sound of his significant other's voice. He had just enough time to turn towards the Dark Magician Girl before she crossed the distance between them and hugged him tightly, sobbing into his chest.
He just hugged her back, knowing that it couldn't have been easy for her, going through that again. It had been hard enough for her the first time around and while five thousand years had dulled her memories of the events that had occurred originally, she'd suffered from nightmares about it and the troubles that had followed for almost a century.
There was a knock on the door and Mana pushed herself away from him, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand as Mahado let out a heavy sigh. It couldn't be one of the Kuribohs he'd sent out with messages for Yugi's friends, not yet anyway which meant that this latest interruption had something to do with what had been going on in the real world while they'd been fighting for their lives inside the Tomb Robber's game.
It was an Allure Queen Lv5 who pushed open the door hesitantly. Mahado wasn't sure which one. Those who came to study in the Kkwy Library, the Dark Kingdom's answer to the Royal Magical Library, changed on an almost daily basis.
Mana did though and she rushed to the Spellcaster/Effect monster's side, highly concerned. "Arzu? What's wrong?"
Mahado frowned. He knew that name but he couldn't remember where from.
"I know I wasn't supposed to bring her here but there was nowhere else." Arzu said, bowing low, shame obvious in her voice, "And she's lost everyone..."
"You brought Luna here." Mana's eyes went huge as Arzu's words sank in.
That was it. Mahado realised. Where he knew Arzu's name from. This was Luna's deck leader. Then what she'd actually said sank in and he frowned. It was unsafe for humans to travel to their world.
Not only did they have to travel across the Shadow Realm to reach the Realm of the Monsters, but those who didn't have a safe grip on their selves, or who used up too much magic, or even those who won their games but had exhausted themselves and didn't have someone to pull them back from the darkness, as Yugi and Harry had, ran the risks of turning into their Ka beasts.
"Where is she?"
"I left her in the kitchens." Arzu admitted, straightening up, "There was a Magicat down there that Luna took a shine to and she needed some comfort..." Arzu looked at the ground, self loathing obvious, "I couldn't save her father."
Mahado put his hand on Arzu's shoulder, "It's alright, Arzu. I'm sure you did everything you could." He looked at Mana, who nodded and took Arzu's hand, "We'll take her to the shop. She is, after all Clan. If her father's gone then she'd Master Solomon's ward now."
"But the human world's..."
"Of course," Mana gave her a reassuring smile, "If you've been looking after Luna you wouldn't have heard."
"Zorc is dead. The Pharaoh won."
"Are you sure this is safe?"
Rebecca didn't know how to answer her Grandfather, but she figured that if Minnola could use the Shadows to travel from one place in the world to another, then surely the dragon could take them with him if she asked him to go to Japan.
It wasn't like she was asking him to break into Hogwarts or Gringotts. She just wanted Minnola to take them across to Japan. Of course she'd much rather take the risk on her own but her Grandfather was insisting that he go with her, both because he wanted to see his friend and because he was worried about her.
They had only just managed to survive after all. He wasn't willing to let her out of his sight.
"Minnola's travelled using the Shadows before..." Rebecca trailed off. Her friends were safe. She wasn't really needed in Japan...
And her Grandfather was more important. He'd nearly lost his soul during the attack after all. She didn't want to risk taking him through the Shadows. It was unsafe enough as it was, what with her complete exhaustion and her complete inexperience with the Shadows.
"Rebecca?" Her Grandfather's tone was severe.
"I don't know. I've never done this before and neither have the others." Rebecca admitted.
"Then we're not going. Not like this." Professor Hawkins frowned. "There are much safer ways to travel and you spoke to both Ombre and that Kuriboh."
Rebecca nodded slowly. The Princess had stated that she and Solomon were all right and the Kuriboh that had appeared out of her extras deck had informed her that everyone who had been in the world of memories had come home safely.
"I'm just as worried about them as you are." Professor Hawkins continued, "But they wouldn't want us to risk ourselves." Rebecca kicked the floor, knowing that he was right, even if she didn't like it.
I can go. Minnola offered, talking to both of them, And pass you any news.
"Please." Rebecca nodded and Minnola vanished from the house.
"So. What next?" Joey asked Atem. The pharaoh had been staring blindly out of the window as Kaiba's limousine took them home.
He realised with a start that he didn't know.
Not once in nine years had he thought beyond the day he got his memories back.
Yugi shifted slightly, causing Atem to look down at his closest friend with a small smile. They'd just about managed to wake Yugi and Hermione up enough to get them moving from the storage room where Bakura's board had been to the limo, but both had fallen asleep the moment that they had done up their seatbelts.
Now Yugi was leaning against Atem's side, as best as he could while still strapped in anyway, his head on the Pharaoh's shoulder, with a peaceful expression on his face.
Atem doubted Yugi would remember leaving the museum. It was probably for the best. Seto was still there, dealing with Bakura's body and the board that had, at one point, looked so much like the Pharaoh's ancient home. However he had sent everyone else home.
Atem wasn't sure he could have dealt with any more today anyway. Not only did Yugi need to get back to the safety and security of the Game Shop, but Atem had too much to go through, too many memories he wanted to examine, too little idea of how to deal with the press and the authorities and far too little care, at least at the moment, for the trouble that had happened as a result of his search for his memories.
Once Yugi was settled, he knew that his family was all right and he'd had a chance to go through the thousands of memories that had rushed through his mind when Yugi had given him his name, he'd be more interested in the outside world.
His hand went to his neck without thinking, reaching for the cord to the Millennium Pendant, only to remember that the chain that it rested on currently rested on Yugi's neck, where it belonged. He did, however, find the chain for the double cartouche he'd received at Christmas.
He raised the pendant to eye level so he could look at it properly, thinking that he could finally have his true name engraved into the second half, only to find it was already there.
He stared at it for a while. It was one thing for Yugi to tell him it. It was another to read it.
"Ya... I mean Atem?" Joey corrected himself, concerned when Atem didn't give him an answer, "You ok?"
"I'll answer to either, Joey." Atem shrugged, not really sure what he was feeling about everything yet, noting that Hermione was leant against the window with Joey's jacket between her and the glass, "Just don't call me Yams."
Joey snorted, amusement crossing his face before concern settled again.
Atem didn't get a chance to say anything else as the Game Shop came into view and he mentally poked his hikari, having already worked out that shaking Yugi didn't work.
It took a couple of attempts before he got a response and even then it was the equivalent of Yugi putting his pillow over his head and going back to sleep.
"Excuse me a sec." Atem chuckled to Joey and darted into the corridor between his and Yugi's mind.
Even when he'd been sat on the throne he'd missed this link. He'd had the bond to his light self for as long as one of his lives could remember and not having it had felt unnatural.
He stepped through into the brightly lit room, a sign of the strength of Yugi's soul, and took a look around.
The room was messier than usual, mostly because Yugi's games and toys were no longer the only things in there. Atem frowned slightly as he made his way across the room, making a mental note to help Yugi tidy away the items that he recognised as belonging to 'Atem', rather than 'Yami' or 'Yugi'.
He paused for a moment as he stepped over a reed boat, wondering whether he'd forever be separating his life into 'Yami' and 'Atem', then moved quietly over to Yugi's bed.
"Yugi." He put his hand on his hikari's shoulder and shook him slightly, noting with a frown, that the bruising that Yugi had sustained in the Memory World had carried over to his spirit form here, "Yugi, wake up."
"Five more minutes." Yugi groaned.
Atem had to force back a chuckle. It wasn't really funny, not when Yugi had exhausted himself bringing him back from the dead, but 'five more minutes' was normally his line. However Yugi needed to wake up, even it if was just long enough to get between the limo and the flat.
"Sorry, but we don't have five more minutes. We're practically home." Atem apologised, pulling Yugi into a sitting position. Yugi glowered at him, a far too typically Atem expression for the Pharaoh to be comfortable, just for a second and then he sighed and nodded, his entire body posture relaxing into a much more Yugi like pose.
"I'll be out in a minute."
Atem nodded and darted back to his body just in time for the car to pull up outside the Game Shop and Yugi opened his eyes just as Yami was reaching for his seat belt. Across the car, Hermione's parents had just about managed to wake their daughter up too and were the first ones out.
Not that they'd wanted to get in the car. They would much rather have gone back to their hotel and gone back to England on the first available flight, having been scared out of their wits by what had happened, but Atem and Seth... Seto, Atem shook his head slightly at the slip up, had managed to convince them that they were much safer if they stuck around in Domino. After all they were the only people who knew what the Shadows were really capable of and how to deal with them.
Before Joey had even managed to help Yugi out of the car they were surrounded. Atem let out a soft groan, having forgotten that today was a tournament day for the store, but refrained from saying anything. Mostly because Ombre had darted through the excitable crowds and slapped him hard enough to leave an imprint before hugging him.
"O...Ombre?" Atem asked, shocked as she moved on to Yugi, who was leant rather heavily on Joey, was in the process of dozing off again and, unlike Atem, didn't get slapped, but didn't get an answer from the Princess before the crowd split to let his Grandfather through.
He had just enough time to wonder where Yugi's parents were before Solomon shocked him by hugging him.
Not that he hadn't seen his Grandfather hug Yugi before, or any of the others who needed it, but Atem had never been good at overly emotional displays of affection and Solomon had always respected that, always offering him a hand on his shoulder or something just as subtle rather than the hugs Yugi tended to get.
After the news he'd heard at the museum after the game, the Pharaoh half suspected that it was as much because his Grandfather needed to confirm for himself that Atem wasn't a ghost as it was joy at his safe return.
As his Grandfather released him and moved on to his other Grandsons, Atem helped Joey deflect questions, half feigning confusion in order to deflect the least persistent ones and promising answers 'later' to those who were demanding answers 'now'.
"I'm sorry." He finally spoke over the noise of the rabble, tired and not really wanting to deal with this now, "But both my friend and my brother," He gestured to Hermione and Yugi, "Nearly died this morning and I'm not answering any questions until they've been seen to." For a moment he considered palming this lot off on Seth... Seto. He had a horrible feeling he was going to keep doing that, especially when his brain was this fried, but the CEO had enough on his plate as it was. "Now if you don't mind..."
He moved to help Joey with Yugi, who was more asleep than not, noting that Joey promised his grandfather that they'd explain everything once they were inside, and the crowd parted to let them into the shop.
Part of him was frustrated by the crowd as he watched, bemused, as Joey picked Yugi up and carried him up the stairs, bridal style, ignoring Yugi's protests, and part of him understood why there would be so many people wanting answers from them.
He could feel the wards that he and Ombre had put up around their home, and while they were weakened, they still stood, which meant nothing of a magical nature who wanted to harm those in the shop would have been able to enter the building.
Making the game shop the safest place in Domino during the Attack.
And it didn't help that the Duel Monsters had, apparently, turned around and told their Duellists that 'Mutou-San' was the Pharaoh's Grandfather, making everyone aware of the fact that it was one of the Mutou twins who, as they thought at the time, had died while trying to stop the Shadows from being freed.
Of course people would want answers when the whole group had turned up alive.
'Well, just about.' Atem thought as Joey carried Yugi to the 'guys' dorm' as the blonde had called it last night and Ombre had, at the request of Solomon, helped Hermione settle into Yugi's parents room.
It had come rather close.
It was a sign of how tired Atem was that he didn't even register that there was someone else in the flat until he almost sat on her.
"Sorry Luna." The Pharaoh murmured, trying to stay awake in order to explain to those who hadn't been at the museum. It took him enough time that he'd found another spot to sit and had stared blankly into thin air for at least thirty seconds before what he'd said actually crossed his mind. "Luna? What're you doing here?"
She was upset, he could tell that much in his current mental state, but she didn't say anything. Atem got up and moved back over to the sofa, not quite sure if Luna wanted his support or what to say or do if she did.
"I'm glad you're ok." Luna murmured, taking his hand in hers.
"I'm sorry." Atem apologised, knowing that somehow it was his fault for whatever had happened to make Luna miserable.
"Those who look forwards were just as blind as those forever looking backwards," Luna replied quietly, "You couldn't have known." She considered him for a moment, making Atem wonder what was going through her head, then she spoke again, "So which way do you look now, Pharaoh? Onwards or upwards?"
He considered her question carefully. He knew what she was asking. Everyone inside the Clan knew that eventually Atem wanted to join his family in the afterlife, but for some reason that didn't seem like the right answer. Not right now at least.
He knew what it was too. When he'd thought that he was going to die during the Memory World game, he'd realised something. He didn't want to leave his new family. Not yet. Not while he had a second chance at life.
Oh there were people and things he could do without, but he was genuinely happy in his second life. He had a home, a family and didn't want to leave any of it.
If he'd still been sharing a body with Yugi it would have been a different matter. He couldn't fairly have expected Yugi to play host to him forever, but he had his own body and his own life, even if he chose to spend it in the company of his light self.
And not even everything bad that had happened over the last nine years was enough to make him change his mind on that matter. He wanted to stay.
"Onwards. Definitely onwards."
Author Note: - And that's it. Millennium is finished.
The plot's changing on me again. The summer fic I was planning is no longer viable but a whole new plot has opened up. The first chapter of Yugi and Harry and the Shadow Treaty is up on my profile.