|A Kiss Goodnight
Author: Becca-Loves-Yuge PM
It's been a year since Atem left this world,and yet,Anzu recieves a call late at night in America from him, urging her to return to Japan.With only a simple promise,she jumps on a plane to Japan to see him one more time.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Anzu M. & Atem - Chapters: 2 - Words: 8,928 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 10 - Updated: 04-29-12 - Published: 04-20-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8043676
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm back from my hiatus! I'm so sorry! Things just got so busy! But, I hope to have this finished by next weekend, as it's a two shot. And of course I own nothing!
A Kiss Goodnight
He didn't know why. He didn't know how. All he knew was that the After Life was not to his expectations and when he woke up one morning, he was staring up at the familiar window covered ceiling of Yuugi's room. He gasped as the realization that he could feel the fibers of the carpet and the slight nip of the fall air.
He figured it had to do with the Gods. They could tell that he was longing to be back with his future half and friends. With that girl. Maybe it had to do with the fact that soon after he crossed over, the mistake was made known that Teana was meant to be in Anzu's place and Anzu was meant to be in Teana's. The Gods had switched his soul mate –Anzu- with a girl that was meant to be Yuugi's friend. That was partially why he could not seem to enjoin Paradise. How could he when the one he was meant to enjoy it with was back in the human world?
And then there were his friends. He missed Honda and Jonouchi's antics. Sure Mana could be quite the trickster, but she paled in comparison to them.
Even though these people –spirits- were his real friends, he could not shake the new friendships he had forged in the future. And while his memories were still all so new to him, they just weren't what he had wanted. He supposed that he had been right that one night when he had told Yuugi that he wanted to share Yuugi's memories. His own were nice, but just weren't what he wanted.
He knew who he was now, but he was unhappy with it. He no longer had something to work towards. And that made him feel emptier than when he had no clue as to who he was.
However, nothing could have prepared him for when he learned what all had happened during his absence. Yuugi had, as he was meant to, taken up a relationship with Rebecca Hawkins. Atem was thrilled for the boy. It seemed that he had finally gotten over his crush for a certain dancer.
Though it seemed that as Yuugi cheerfully ate some breakfast, he knew that she was who the Pharaoh was eager to hear about now that he knew his aibou was doing well; a girlfriend, taking Egyptology classes at the local college, still the number one ranked duelist. Things were going spectacular for the youth. Yuugi, for some reason, kept Anzu out of every story he told about their friends.
Honda had finally gone out with Shizuka…Jonouchi and Mai had made up…Kaiba was…well, Kaiba…Everyone was doing just fine. Yet, Yuugi still kept Anzu from popping up.
Yuugi chewed his egg thoughtfully. "Hmm…" He swallowed. "Oh, yeah! Did I mention that Kaiba is starting a Duel Academy?"
The Pharaoh momentarily closed his eyes. "Yes, you have. Twice I believe." When his crimson eyes opened once more, it was to see Yuugi looking down at his food, playing with it like a lost child. Atem reached his hand across the table and placed it over Yuugi's. "Yuugi, I have a feeling that you are keeping something from me. You've yet to mention Anzu. Has something happened?"
He tried to think how long he had been gone. Only a few months, right? Nothing too horrible could have happened? Right?
Yuugi looked up at him and for the first time Atem realized how much more mature Yuugi had gotten. His face was more defined and he had grown a few inches. His eyes still held the same innocent glow in them, yet now they were clouded with some form of emotion. Guilt? Sorrow?
"Anzu…" Yuugi mumbled. Atem thought it sounded a little unhappy.
His hand tightened over Yuugi's slightly. "Aibou…Is she okay?"
Yuugi swallowed thickly. "You've been gone almost a year…" Atem nodded slowly in understanding. That would account for Yuugi's physical changes. "Anzu went to America after graduation…She…uh…well…"
Atem grew tense. What was Yuugi keeping? Was she hurt? Had she…No. If she had died, she would have gone to the After Life. He never saw her there. The Pharaoh leaned closer to Yuugi, his eyes boring into his lighter self's. "Tell me," his voice was firm. A demand.
Yuugi looked up through his thick lashes. An apology clear in his eyes. "She met this guy…and well…" He sighed heavily. "She got married about three months ago."
It was like a bomb went off.
"She got married about three months ago."
Something in his chest twisted. His face felt cold; his hands clammy. He had to lick his lips to speak his next question. "As in…she's his?" But that's ridiculous. Anzu had always been his…They were meant to be together. It was a fluke.
Yuugi pushed his egg around, his chopsticks scrapping the plate shrilly. "Well, technically, she doesn't belong to him…"
Atem withdrew his hand. "Can I…Do you know how to contact her?"
Yuugi glanced at the doorway that lead to the Game Shop. "Yeah…Her number is in the phonebook. It's still under Mazaki. I think it's late in America though…"
Atem didn't care about the time difference. He somehow knew that Anzu would answer. Her American number was scrawled in Yuugi's hand under her old one. After dialing and agreeing to the charges, he heard the line ringing on her end. His grip on the phone tightened and he could hear the plastic protest. He felt more than he heard Yuugi quietly enter the Game Shop, standing in the darkness of the stairway.
It was late in America. Anzu had finally joined her husband in the bed and was just beginning to relax, her muscles unwind…when the phone rang. She groaned and rolled over. Her husband muttering a curse. It rang again.
"Just ignore it, babe." Her husband, Dan, muttered.
Anzu nodded, sleep calling out to her. Three rings later she heard the answering machine kick on, her chipper voice speaking through the machine:
Hi there! You've reached Dan and Anzu Gardner! We can't come to the phone right now but if you'll leave a brief message we'll get back to you!
The message repeated in Japanese and then a beep was heard. Anzu figured the caller would hang up or leave a message.
His voice breathed through the darkness, calling to her. She sat up in bed, waking up Dan. Her eyes widened. No way. He was dead. It was her imagination.
"Anzu, it's Atem and…I want to…I…"
She launched from her bed and dashed to the living room area of their apartment where the phone was kept. She heard Dan sit up in bed. "Atem? Who's Atem?"
Anzu ripped the phone from the cradle and held it to her ear. "Oh my god…You're alive…"
"Anzu, it's Atem and…I want to…I…" He closed his eyes. Never before had words failed him as greatly as they did now. What was he to say? He was clueless.
He heard another beep and figured his call was over, when…
"Oh my god…You're alive…" She breathed into the phone.
His knees went weak at hearing her voice. "Anzu…" Why could he only seem to say her name? There was so much that needed to be said…
"H-How?" She questioned quietly, disbelief coloring her tone.
"I don't know…" He whispered back.
It was silent on both ends for a few seconds and then, "Is it true, Anzu?"
She was quiet for a moment, as if she were stalling. At least, that's how it seemed to him. "Is what true?"
Atem wanted to narrow his eyes at her, but settled for the wall. "You're married." He stated.
"Oh…Yes…I thought…You…" Now it was her turn to stumble for words.
Atem rested his forehead against the wall. It was cool against his suddenly feverish body. "I came back because of you…"
Her reply was a quiet sob. "I…never stopped loving you…" She whispered.
The Pharaoh closed his eyes, wishing that he could see her oceanic ones. "Does he…make you happy?"
She was quiet for a moment. "Atem, you were gone…I was alone here…I…I'm sorry…I thought you would have wanted me to move on…"
Atem could feel Yuugi's eyes burning wholes into his back. He shifted his weight to his right leg, still leaning against the wall. He could hear a male's voice in the background, his voice sharp and demanding. Atem's jaw clenched. No man should ever speak that way to her…
Then again…hadn't he? Several times? On the blimp. On the train.
Why did he have such a problem with other men talking to her cruelly or owning her in the sense of marriage, yet, he had been sharp with her before and he had always considered her his. Even now, when there were thousands of miles between then and simple metal band and a piece of paper separating them, it still felt like she was his. And that he was hers.
And he didn't mind being hers. He was fairly certain that if, by the end of their call, she told him to leave her alone and that was what she wanted, he would leave her alone. He would miss her and most likely mope for a long time, but he wanted her to be happy. He would do just about anything to make her happy. To see her smile. To hear her laugh. All she would have to do was say the word, and he would follow.
He heard rustling on her end, and then she spoke to someone else. She spoke in a different language, what he assumed was English, like he had heard on her machine message. He did, however, pick up one word that he remembered from sitting in during one of Yuugi's English classes when he had fallen asleep: Friend.
"Anzu, must you use that word? We both know…" He trailed off. In truth, neither of them had ever actually come out and said their feelings. But, for some reason this morning, it didn't matter. None of their awkwardly built walls were around them.
She sighed tiredly, as if the world had been placed on her shoulders. "Yami…"
He felt a tingle at hearing his old name. She was the only one that had continued to use that name with him even after his own had been discovered. And it didn't bother him. Sure, she had given him the cartouche so that he could always remember his name, but that name, Yami, was special to the two of them. It had been the name they had learned together that night, all those years ago.
"I…I'll be on the next flight to Japan," she whispered, bringing his attention to the present.
Hope blossomed in his heart. "Are you certain? It's no trouble? What about your dancing?"
He could almost hear the sad smile on her face. He could imagine the way her eyes would soften. "Yami, everything else can wait. I've learned how precious time and life can be," she paused and he imagined that she was looking down. "You…We don't know how long you have in this time. I need to see you…"
He nodded and grunted his agreement. Her steady breathing filled the silence until, "And…and Yami?"
"Promise me you'll be there…" Her voice was tiny and small.
Atem narrowed his eyes. He knew that she had a point in saying that his time there could be limited. He didn't even know how he was there. His guess about the gods taking pity was just that, a guess. He nodded slowly. "Anzu, I swear that I will be there when you get off that plane."
There was a moment's silence. "I'll see you in a few hours." Then her line went dead. Atem slowly hung the phone back up on the wall.
Yuugi stepped closer behind him. "Atem?"
The Pharaoh slowly turned to face his other self. "Let's go meet with Honda and Jonouchi."
Yuugi opened his mouth, closed it, and then smiled. "Come on!"
And like that, the subject of Anzu was once again dropped.
Anzu's leg shook. They were so close to landing. It had been about sixteen hours since she had heard his voice. And it had been a rough sixteen hours. As soon as she had hung up, his promise still buzzing in her mind, Dan had been questioning her as to who she had jumped out of bed to speak with.
He obviously didn't buy her lie about Atem being "an old friend." Even when Yuugi or the others called late at night she would not react as she had, unless they left a message giving her reason to, like the time Yuugi had called, panicked and crying, because Gramps had had a heart attack.
Dan knew something was different about Atem. There had been lots of screaming as she left their apartment. She knew she should just tell him the truth, Atem had been her old –and current- love. However, that would not explain everything. And the minute said told him that Atem had died and come back and she had to rush back home before he left again, he would send her to the nuthouse. Heck, she would send herself if she had not known the truth of the matter.
She fingered the gold wedding band on her finger. As the cold metal rubbed her skin, she felt herself grow more disgusted with herself. She had never been a big fan of gold…until about a year ago. Dan had originally given her a silver engagement ring because she had always loved silver, but she had made up a lie that she was allergic to silver…Her gold wedding band and the garnet set in the middle was more of a way of promising her love to Atem, not Dan. It was like she was cheating on Dan.
Glancing at it, all she could think of were those two eyes of blood, almost cat-like in the way they were slanted and always observing the area or situation. She had longed to see those eyes again…
She rested her head back against the headrest. Her eyes closed as the pilot came over the intercom and relayed in a few different languages that they were close to landing in Tokyo. Peeking open an eye, she looked out the window at the inky dark sky with a few twinkling stars scattered around. She barely recognized her face as it was reflected back at her across the dark window.
Her skin was almost gaunt, stretched tight across her face, her once round and soft cheek bones now jutted out making her look sickly up close. It was the same all over her body. Her years of practicing and training had never prepared her for the cruel world of dancing reality. She had to be the thinnest. She had never been much into dieting or watching her figure, but when those extra five pounds were the difference between a role and never dancing on Broadway again, she made sure to loose ten.
She was not happy with the way she looked: Bony and pale, tired eyes (more so than usual due to the current situation), and her hair hung limp just past her shoulders, her bangs now long enough to hide her eyes if need be. She only looked appealing in pounds and pounds of stage make-up and pretty costumes.
Would Atem recognize her?
Would he be even there?
She felt the plane begin its descent.
He wasn't quite sure what to do with his hands. He kept folding and unfolding his arms, his hands itching to do something, anything, to get his mind off of what would happen in about twenty minutes. He stood gazing out the wall of windows, his back rigid, as he searched for the lights of the plane. Tokyo was illuminated just pass the runway.
He placed his arm across the window glass and leaned his forehead against it. He vaguely noted that his forehead was warmer than his arm. The beauty of the night mixed with his nervousness of seeing Anzu again caused him to think back to the last time they had been alone together.
She stared up at him with those wide eyes. He could get lost in those eyes, as deep as the ocean itself. The Pharaoh could tell that she had been crying; her lashes stuck together and there were tear marks on her face. She sat cross legged in the center of her bed. She wore an oversized Domino High shirt and a pair of purple sleep pants. A Dark Magician Girl plush was cradled to her chest. She looked like a child.
He stepped further into her room and gently closed the door behind himself. She shrank further into herself the closer he moved towards her. "Anzu," he whispered. "Are you afraid of me?"
She gazed up at him, her lips quivering. "N-no…I could never be afraid of you."
He slowly sat on the bed next to her. Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, he pulled her closer to himself. He himself was surprised at his sudden display of affection, but he needed to give Anzu a proper goodbye. She tilted her head back and looked at him. His eyes met hers.
"Back at school, you were worried that I would forget you guys when I regained my old memories," he began. Anzu nodded, remembering the moment in the classroom. She hadn't expected him to come out, but he had. And he had calmed her worries then. It seemed he wanted to calm her worries now.
She sighed and looked down, her eyes locked on her Magician Girl. "Ya-…I mean…Atem…I know you won't forget us…if you…if you lose tomorrow…And…I…It's time you finally went to the After Life." She looked back up at him.
Atem gently squeezed her tighter. "I will never forget you, Anzu-chan."
Another tear escaped her eye. "I won't forget you, either…"
He pressed a gentle kiss against her forehead and murmured "Sleep well." Then, the Spirit stood and slowly left her room…without looking back. Anzu watched his retreating form from her bed, unable to stop her silent tears.
Atem wanted to slap himself. He shouldn't have left her like that…She had been crying…A loud buzzing was heard before the announcement of Anzu's plane's arrival was heard over the white noise of the airport. Atem's hands twitched again.
He pushed away from the window and turned towards where people had begun gathering to welcome their loved ones. His head tilted in puzzlement. How was he to greet her? A simple hello? A friendly kiss? A hug?
His time decide was quickly running out as the first of the people came through the gate. His brow furrowed in concentration as his eyes quickly darted from person to person, searching for chocolate hair.
Couples embraced and friends hugged around him. A group of tourists came out of the door, already flashing pictures. The flash from the oversized camera one of them used caused him to blink. When he opened his eyes…he saw her through the remains of the blur caused by the flash. Her hair was longer, reaching to passed her shoulders, her bangs hanging in her eyes. She had lost weight, not enough to look deathly skinny, but enough to make her cheek bones stand out more. Her weight loss gave him the idea that they should grab a bite to eat.
He stood frozen to his spot. He wasn't sure what to do. He had never experienced this and did not have Yuugi to guide him through it. But then…her azure eyes moved to the left and landed on him. She stopped in her place, causing the couple behind her to grumble and move around her. He could her breathing had picked up, as her chest began to rise and fall more quickly. Her pink lips opened in shock.
He saw his name form on those lips and that was the push that got him to move forward. He wasn't scared anymore. He now had a chance to make up for lost time and for leaving her crying after their last encounter.
They strode towards each other, meeting halfway. Fire and ice met. Anzu's mouth opened, closed, and opened again and yet nothing was said. Atem smirked slightly, his hand reaching out to brush a strand of hair back behind her ear.
"I told you I would be here," he whispered.
Anzu chuckled, her eyes glistening. "Yeah…you are…"
His hand lingered on her cheek, enjoying the softness of her soft skin. "Now what?"
Anzu licked her lips, moistening them as if her throat was dry. "I…I'm not sure."
Atem's eyes racked over her once more. "Why don't we go get something to eat? There's a coffee shop on the next block."
A soft laugh escaped her throat again. "A coffee shop? I'd like that…"
The former Pharaoh's smile softened as his hand trailed down to take her hand. He turned and began to pull her through the crowds towards the front of the airport to collect her bag and to exit. She gazed at his unruly hair as they snaked through the throngs of people and…just for a moment…she allowed herself to believe that this was real…and not a dream…
Until next time!