Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!.

Too exhausted to explain my absence. Glad to be back! If only briefly. I started this back in September and I just now finished it. Enjoy.

Oh, since there's been some confusion in the past, let me clarify:

Text - Téa's thoughts/narration

Text - letter content


Dear Atem

It was light, bright, and beautiful outside, due to the summer sun finally showing off its brilliant blanket of dense heat on the earth. Children of tenants in the complex ran about the common courtyard, chasing each other and screeching annoyingly. The warm apartment stayed stuffy and hot because it was not within the college student's budget to be running the central AC all day long. The lights stayed off, not only to similarly conserve power, but also because the lone tenant of the unit only needed a few candles for her current task.

Dear Atem,

Is it inappropriate to write you a letter? I certainly hope it's not. In my communications class, the professor talked about the hand-written letter as a gesture of genuine care, thoughtfulness, and even affection. Especially in the age we live in, with everything turned digital, it is an act that has become rather obsolete.

But I think you're worth it. Typing a letter and e-mailing it to you would be fine and dandy I'd imagine, but there's nothing quite like pen to paper to me. Maybe you feel the same way. Maybe you don't. In any case, here it is.

I do miss you. I miss you more than you may ever know, in fact. I'm not sure of your awareness of the fact that I do admire and have been admiring you, mostly from a distance. I knew that your situation, being sent here to this world and time of which is unfamiliar to you, would prove to be much too overwhelming if I made myself more apparent to you. So I wanted to give you space so that you could focus on saving mankind and, just as importantly, finding yourself and who you are.

If I'm going to be honest here, even though I was excited for you when we began a breakthrough of discovering your origins and who you were, I kept dreading every impending discovery. That may sound awful and selfish, but it is something I must confess with the ink of my pen of truth. I was afraid that the closer you got to your past, the further you slipped away from the present. When I say present, I really mean me. It hurt me a lot, but I kept telling myself that I was being very irrational. Because I was, and I hated it.

At this point, Téa could barely contain the tears. Memories flooded her mind like a wave of fresh blood through her veins. Her hand shook and her pen wobbled. Her thighs squeezed together and her toes curled tensely. In her memory, his gleaming violet eyes encircled her soul with arms of burning passion. When the writer's block passed, she quickly wiped her eyes on her sleeve and continued to write.

It's not important now, anyway. You know who you are now, and you chose to be with us, instead of going where you supposedly "belong". That speaks more to me than any words you've ever said, to me or to anyone. You chose the present over the past, despite all my fears of the contrary. It makes me affectionate for you all the more, which is quite unfortunate seeing as how I am now studying abroad in New York to pursue my dreams in the arts.

It's not all too bad here. Everything is within walking distance. Not many friends to be made because they are all focused on practicing their art and refining their crafts, much like myself. Julliard is a school of extremely high standards. Almost no one even parties much at all. It's all work and no play. I fully intend to graduate from Julliard and do theater and ballet productions. Maybe someday I will get to visit Domino on an international tour, and you'd be able to see me perform! That is, if you'll still be there when I do. Who knows where you'll be in a few years?

It wouldn't be the first time you've seen me dance. I will still never forget the day you came to the arcade with me, and you watched me dance. It was a DDR machine game, but it was still a form of dance and I felt so free doing it. You were a pillar of encouragement just watching me from the front row. And when you smiled at me, I knew what I felt for you was real. I felt very happy that day, and it seemed as though you were having a good time as well.

It is the time to confess, I suppose. I do think a lot of you, and I've found myself rather inappropriately attached to you. In fact, I could even say I'm possibly in love with you. I've never felt that way about anyone before. But there are many things about you that attribute to your attractiveness to me. You're intelligent, incredibly brave, charming, and your confidence is admirable. You really are a wonderful person and friend. I guess you didn't need to know how I felt about you, but I felt compelled to tell you, anyway. Now you know my secret. And even if your feelings aren't returned, I just hope that I can still keep you as a friend, because our friendship is what I cherish most.

Well, I must go. The library will be closing in a few hours and I have a few papers to write for my summer class. Just know that even if you only see me in a purely platonic way, I will always cherish your friendship no matter what. Maybe someday, we will see each other again.

With all the love in my heart,

Téa Gardener

She read it through again, though she wasn't sure why she wanted to so badly. Perhaps it was because she hoped she didn't sound obvious, or overbearing. Maybe just the thought of his eyes gracing the ink from her own hand gave life to her fluttering heart. She thought of his beautiful strong hands holding the piece of notebook paper delicately in his fingers; his brilliant mind processing her words into thoughts and ideas; and, dared she imagine it, a smile to encroach his face.

Téa glanced over at one of the flickering candles, sitting idly on her desk near her writing hand. Tears freed themselves from her eyes and crawled down her cheeks. At the start of her pen on the top of her letter, she was bold, strong and fearless. The strength she mustered up to compose this letter, a pure but simplified reflection of the contents of her heart, was present and encouraging.

But as she signed her name, claiming her words as her own and meant only for the eyes of Atem, the strength she worked so hard to gain was shaken out by her trembling fingers. Her eyes wandered over the envelope, addressed to Atem at the Game Shop address.

With warm tears continuing in abundance, Téa then took her letter, folded it into thirds, and gently dipped the far corner into the small flame of the candle by the pen. The piece of paper was slowly taken by the candlelight, charring black as the words on the page burned into ash.

"I'm sorry, Atem," she whispered, weeping and shaking. "Someday I will be able to tell you. Not today, but someday. Please still be here when I'm finally ready."

The last piece of the letter at last disintegrated into ash, accumulated on her desk, which she left there to lie as she departed her New York apartment. The envelope remained intact, one day to be finally sent.

-END-