AN: I own nothing. Republished without lyrics, but this fanfic was inspired by "Lonely no More" by Rob Thomas

Tea sighed softly, not sure what to think any more. It had been a whole year now since Atem left for the Afterlife, and she missed him like crazy. She wasn't herself any more, and hadn't been since the day he left. Heck, she was constantly walking around in a depressed mood nowadays. Atem always had known the words to say to make her feel better… She even no longer found joy in dancing. Nothing was the same.

Her days were spent constantly trying not to think about him as she focused on her school work and their upcoming graduation. In a few weeks' time, they would all graduate from high school. Joey would be leaving to visit Mai in America, and Tristan would be starting university close-by so he could still see Serenity. They had just started dating after coming back from Egypt, much to Joey's frustration. Yugi was now dating Rebecca. They all had someone except for her. She was forever alone.

'Who am I kidding? They don't have time for me any more.' her mind told her. 'I'll forever be an old maid, like I have always feared.' Sure, others had tried asking her out, but she kept declining their advances. She only wanted to be loved by him, and nobody else.

Looking at herself in the mirror, Tea scowled at what she saw. 'What am I doing to myself? What have I become? Girl, get yourself together! If he saw you right now, what would he be thinking?' She was fed up with everything. But then, it's not like she could control her emotions. She would always love him.

Meanwhile elsewhere, Atem was thinking along the same lines, smacking himself over the head for not telling the dancer when he had the chance that he loved her. He had been in the Afterlife for one whole year now. He couldn't believe it had been a whole 365 days since Yugi had beat him in the ceremonial dual, and he had chosen to leave them all behind, unable to face his feelings, to face her, the one who had come to mean so much to him these last few years. He could still remember clearly the tears that fell from Tea's cheeks when Yugi beat him, could see her cerulean orbs pleading with him to not leave her alone, but he'd chosen to ignore them, knowing he was leaving his heart behind with her. Hell, he even tried to convince himself he had feelings for Mana, but he knew that her heart already belonged to her long-time master, and his most trusted servant Mahad. He couldn't lie to himself any more. He had to find a way to get back to his precious dancer, even if to just tell her how he felt.

Weeks passed, and it was now the gang's high school graduation. Tea watched and waited along with her classmates as their names were called to come across the stage one at a time. Her eyes scanned the crowd, looking for her family when she stopped on a pair of crimson eyes and spiky, tri-coloured hair. Her heart skipped a beat.

"What's he doing here?!" she hissed at Yugi, who had a huge grin on his face.

"Who Tea? There's nobody here…." Yugi replied, playing stupid as he then turned to pay attention as the rest of their names were called out. 'I hope our plan works, partner.' he silently prayed.

"Dammit, it must be my imagination again…" Tea growled and stood up, sighing in exasperation as her name was called. Her friends cheered as her grad statement was read, stating she planned to attend an infamous performing arts school in New York. Truth be told, that had been her plan initially but there was no way she could afford it and her dreams now consisted of a certain pharaoh and children with brown hair and crimson eyes.

After the ceremony was over, everyone was invited over to the game shop to celebrate for old times' sake, but Tea chose to just walk home by herself. Her parents were nowhere to be seen as they were on another business trip. Looking down at the ground as she walked, Tea didn't even notice that she was being followed until she was grabbed and she felt a strong pair of arms embrace her, sniffing her hair. Tea almost screamed, but thought against it as she looked up. Her jaw dropped and she burst into tears as she saw a tanned chest, and his infamous tri-coloured hair and crimson eyes.

"A-atem? Is that really you?! Am I dreaming?!" she stuttered as he shook his head, smiling slowly.

"No, my love, it isn't. I'm back, and I'm here for good, my own body and everything." Atem replied as he wiped the tears from her eyes with his thumbs and leaned over to kiss her forehead. "Never again will you be alone if I have anything to say about it." She smiled, throwing herself at him as she embraced him tightly.

"I've missed you so much. I-I never got to tell you that I love you and always have." she muttered into his chest, and he chuckled, tilting her chin up to plant a kiss full on her lips. She blushed beet-red, opening her mouth against his as she gasped, which allowed him to deepen the kiss. Eventually, she closed her eyes and kissed him back, moaning softly.

After a few minutes, they each had to pull away, gasping for breath. Every ounce of sadness was gone from Tea now as she looked up at him questioningly.

"I regret not telling you how I felt when I left a year ago, Tea, but never again will I leave you. I love you too much to do that to you again. You hold my heart now, and always have." Atem admitted, pulling her tighter against him. "I don't care if you think I'm too good for you, because in reality, it's the other way around, and I intend to treat you like the queen you are." His confession made her smile as she stroked his cheek, tears still falling down her cheeks as she continued to blush.

"When did you return? How did you get back? Are you back for good?" Tea asked all at once. Kissing her forehead, Atem smiled softly as he took her hand in his.

"I came back a month ago for good. Ra and Slifer and Obelisk saw I wasn't happy where I was, and allowed me to return with the aid of Horakhty." he replied, taking her hand in his. "It seems my destiny didn't end there. I was never destined to return to the afterlife permanently, because my queen was in another time. My only hope is that you will let me fulfil the rest of my destiny and become the queen of my heart." His deep voice had become quiet, almost at a whisper as he waited for her answer, a silent plea reflecting in his crimson eyes. Her response was to reach up and kiss his cheek shyly.

"Do you even need to ask? Just as you were always by my side, so shall I be there for you when you need someone. Never again will you be alone for as long as fate allows us to be together." Atem's eyes danced as he chuckled.

"Well, I intend to see that through until death parts us, and even beyond if need be. Tea, will you be my girlfriend, my queen, and owner of my heart?" he asked her, kissing her hand. She nodding, throwing her arms around his neck and burying her head in his shoulder, not wanting to let go.

"Of course I will, you dummy! As I stated already, I've loved you for the longest time, so you already own mine."

With that thought in mind, Atem took her hand in his, leading her to the game shop, where Yugi, Rebecca, Joey, Tristan and the rest of their friend awaiting them. Neither of them knew what their futures had in store, but they knew that they would need to fear being alone again. They had each other now, and Tea had him. She finally had the love of her life back, and he was here to stay.