Hello everyone! Yes I know i'm late with this type of story, but better late than never! I'm going to be writing a few one-shots here and there to get back into the groove of things here so please bare with me.


DISCLAIMER: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! ( i wish i did though ;-;)

My Independence Day

"Atem, wake up already or we'll be late!" yelled Yugi Mutou from the kitchen of the Kame Game Shop. Pharaoh Atem, or now known as Atem Mutou awoke and rose from his bed groggily. Looking out his window, he heard birds chirping, he felt the suns warm, comforting rays and his adopted brother once again. "Atem! Hurry up, your food is getting cold!" Sighing, Atem got up from his bed and walked to his dresser.

"So sleepy…" he said passing his favorite outfit hanging nicely in his open dresser. Grabbing his towel and toothbrush, he headed for the shower. Once he left his room he yelled downstairs "I'm up!" his tone held a hint of annoyance that was unintentional. Walking into the bathroom, he closed the door hard, but not hard enough to call it a slam. Sighing once more he did his usual routine.

He opened the bathroom door, allowing the steam to exit as he walked out with only a towel. His pale skin glistening from the water droplets that he was too lazy to dry off. His firm chest muscles helping frame his broad shoulders and toned arm muscles. He came back into his room and put his clothes on, minus the jacket. It is July after all. Going to his desk, he opened the top drawer to take out his belts. But when he did, a small box-shaped thing fell. The ex-pharaoh looked down and dropped his belts. Going down, he picked the item up as sadness swept his eyes.

"M-my deck…" he whispered.

It has been about eight months since the ceremonial duel. And in that time, peace claimed the world. That was something Atem did not think he would be able to see, let alone be a part of, the peace.

Before the duel, he had been mentally preparing himself to say goodbye. Every card he put in his deck, every single one, represented his and Yugi's growth along the years. From Gaia the Fierce Knight all the way to the Egyptian Gods. And in that, he created the most powerful deck on the planet! Yet… their duel was a draw… The thought of that moment still haunts Atem to this very day. He had just summoned Slifer for the second time, and that was when Yugi's Gold Sarcophagus activated but in that instant Atem knew he lost but instinctively played a trap card that negated Yugi's spell and had Slifer attack, but the trap cost Atem the rest of his life points as well as Yugi. He had to lose… he wanted to lose… but his pride got the better of him. As much as he loved being able to have a normal life, being able to stay with his friends whom he has become very close to, he cannot deny the fact that he does not belong in their world. Nor has he ever belonged there. With that thought in mind, he remembered how he gave up dueling entirely to allow Yugi to have the title King of Games. Sure, Duel Monsters was a big part of Atem's life, but this is his new life and needs to leave his legacy in Yugi's hands. It's the least he could do after all.

Sighing once more, he put his deck away when he really wanted to throw it out the window. He grabbed his phone and shoes, making his way downstairs at last. Walking into the kitchen, he spotted Yugi packing food into a few bags. Giving a curious look, Atem walked over to the table and asked Yugi what he was doing.

"What do you mean? It's July 4th Atem, we're hanging out with the gang today remember?" Atem blinked but then sank in his seat and groaned a little.

"Sometimes I just wish to be alone…" Yugi laughed a little after hearing his friend groan.

"Don't worry Atem, Joey and Tristan promised not to get drunk. Oh and Anzu will be joining us this time." Atem went wide eyed and looked up. After last year, Atem didn't feel good knowing Anzu would be there. Then he remembered…. Anzu…

After the duel was over, both Yugi and the Pharaoh were on the ground. Joey and the others went to Yugi, while Anzu ran over to Atem.

"Atem are you alright?!" When Atem came to, he was met with her oceanic blue eyes and sat up.

"What… What happened?" He was then hugged tightly by Anzu.

"I thought you were going to leave us, that's what happened." Atem felt her relief, he felt her emotions as if she was sending them straight to him. All the memories they share came flooding into his mind and he hugged back.

Snapping back into reality, Atem noticed his heart was beating at a slightly fast pace and saw Yugi come downstairs "When did he go upstairs?" Shaking his head, he helped Yugi finish packing.

"Oh Atem, maybe you should bring your jacket. You might get cold later." said grandpa Mutou, who, was holding Atem's jacket in his hand.

"Oh yeah!" Yugi ran up to get it, secretly putting something in its pocket. "Here you go Atem." He sighed.

"Thanks." Yugi pouted.

"Come on Atem! At least look a little happy that we're going to be hanging out with our friends." Atem looked at Yugi.

"I am happy." He walked passed Yugi and put his jacket on. "Can we go now?"

"Uh… y-yeah…" Atem nodded and took a head start, taking some bags.

"Yugi," called gramps.


"Can't you do anything to get Atem out of his depressed state?" Yugi shook his head.

"No, I learned last year that only one person can make him happy. And she came back to Japan just to see him." he said determinedly.

Yugi and the others are now 17, they are seniors in high school (A/N In Japan, 17 is when you are a senior, while I was on hiatus, I learned a few new things about Japan.). But Anzu lucked out and got a call-back for a recital in America. None of them have seen or spoken to her in the 5 months she's been gone. And in that time, Atem became more and more depressed. Whatever's wrong with him, she can fix.

Yugi grabbed the remaining bags and said good bye to his grandfather.

A teenage brunette awoke from her slumber in the nick of time, seeing she was about to be late.

"Aw shit!" Reenacting the leap of faith, Anzu jumped out of bed and dashed to get ready. Brushed her hair, her teeth, showered, eye liner, and dressed. She paused quickly, this is the first time in months she'll be seeing them, seeing him. She giggled to herself. "I'm sure he's taking advantage of his new life… oh well…" Sighing, she went down stairs of her parents' home and left. "Always working…" She ran across the familiar streets of Domino, running passed every store, every building, every intersection until coming upon the Mutou house just in time to see Atem walking out. She gasped and ran over to him, waving. "Atem!"

Atem walked out of the shop, and was heading towards the park upon hearing his name being called. He turned around and almost dropped his bags. Anzu, there was no doubt about it. That was Anzu alright. But, he couldn't help but notice some… differences. Atem could have sworn that five months ago Anzu's hair could not touch her shoulders, they hovered just above them more or less. Atem blushed upon seeing Anzu's slightly older figure. Her curves, her smile, all the little things he liked about her seemed to have gone into overdrive.

"Wow…" he whispered. Anzu came up to him and hugged him.

"Long time no see! You look great Atem." Anzu said with a smile. She let go of Atem and saw he smiled a bit.

"Thank you. And I see the time we spent apart have been good to you as well." She giggled.

Anzu took this opportunity to check Atem out now. She sucked in a sharp breath seeing how his chest was tightly printed on his shirt. And another thing, they were the same height. But then Anzu remembered she was wearing her favorite white pumps.

"When did he get taller than me?! Or maybe he was always taller… I did wear these a lot back then…"

"And I see the years have been good to you too Pharaoh." she said jokingly. Atem chuckled.

"Naturally." He smirked. As they were talking, Yugi came out.

"Oh! Anzu! Welcome back!" Yugi said with a huge smile. Anzu turned and gasped.

"Yugi!" Anzu ran and hugged him just as she did Atem. He saw them and started walking to the park by himself. But that was when Joey and Tristan arrived.

"Hey guys!" They said simultaneously. The guys saw Anzu and immediately went to tackle hug her.

Looking back, Atem saw how happy they all were. He sighed knowing he will never truly have what they have. And so he walked on, alone.

Anzu laughed and tried to push her friends off of her. She was happy to see them again, but looking up, she noticed Atem wasn't there. She looked forward and saw him walking to the park by himself.

"Hey Yugi," The young Mutou looked at her.


"Why is Atem being so distant?" He shrugged.

"I'm not sure, and he won't talk to me either. Maybe you should." Anzu blushed a little and looked at Yugi flabbergasted.

"M-me?! Why?!" Yugi laughed a bit.

"Because you're the only person he trusts so much. Remember that day you two hung out?" Anzu nodded. "Atem told you to not even tell me about your visit to the museum. He trusted you enough, he probably trusts you more than me anyway." Anzu gasped.

"Yugi don't say that! You and Atem are like brothers! You have a bond so strong that nothing and no one can break it!" Yugi rubbed the back of his head as Joey and Tristan held their own conversation on the side.

"Anzu it's alright, plus after that day I could feel a difference in Atem's soul. He was happier, and I felt something else." Anzu tilted her head to the side.

"What's the something else?" Yugi winked at her.

"I'll let you figure that one out today." With that, he walked off leaving a confused Anzu behind.

Atem has finally reached the park and tried to remember where they all were last time. Closing his eyes, he pulled his memories of that time. The laughing, the smiling, night time, fireworks in a multitude of hues, Atem opened his eyes with an even more depressed visage and went over to the hillside near the two benches, underneath the sakura tree.

The ex-pharaoh opened the bags he had brought to see that Yugi had packed games, and a duel disk.

"W-what the…?" he said hoarsely. He put the duel disk back in the bag and took out the blanket for the food. The old fashion red and white checkered picnic blanket was what Yugi's grandfather had suggested they use. Neither Yugi nor Atem objected to it, but neither of them asked why either. Laying it out, he set the food atop it. And at that moment, the rest came.

"Atem!" Anzu ran up to him. "Why did you walk by yourself?" Atem shrugged and avoided eye contact with her.

"I just wanted to." Anzu tilted her head to the side and watched him with sorrowful eyes.

"Today is supposed to be about celebration… why is he slowly drifting away from us?" Anzu thought to herself for a moment. What was the one thing that made him happy? She heard a bit of rustling and turned to see Joey and Tristan taking out the candy Yugi packed for them. She giggled slightly and turned back to see Atem staring at the clear blue sky. She couldn't help but look into his eyes from her angle. But when she did, she saw great longing. She gasped and tried to hold in her tears. "He doesn't want to be here… with us… Atem… what's wrong…?"

As Atem stared into the sky, he felt his heart jolt a bit. Cringing, he clutched his shirt where his heart is. "Ouch…" He turned to his side only to see Anzu about to cry. Eyes wide he put his hand on her shoulder. "Are you alright?" She jumped a bit and calmed down at his touch.

"Uh… y-yeah. Sorry, I was just going to sneeze and it was killing my allergies." Atem blinked.

"Oh…" he actually blushed a little. "Well if you start to feel dizzy or any other type of symptom, let me know and I will take you home."

"Yeah bro! And if you take her home you know what comes next! Ha!" yelled an already drunk Joey. Atem, annoyed, got up and walked over to the bag. He took out the rest of the food but left the now two duel disks in there. With a hefty swing, Atem knocked Joey out for the rest of the day, leaving the other two boys astonished.

"Hmph, Anzu," Atem swung the bag over his shoulder.

"Y-yeah?" Atem chuckled a bit.

"If either one of those two bother you, again let me know so I can whack the shit out of them with these duel disks." He smirked. Anzu fell back laughing as Yugi stared at Atem wide eyed. Five seconds of Anzu and he basically became his old self, minus the hitting.

After she finished laughing, it clicked, duel disks, dueling! "Atem," He had just sat back down next to her.


"When was the last time you dueled?" His muscles tensed up the second she said "duel". Yugi heard this and had a smirk of his own.

"Anzu? Are you challenging Atem to a duel?" Anzu's face went bright red.

"What?! Me?! Duel Atem?! No way!" Atem sighed.

"I don't even have my deck, don't worry Anzu." She sighed in relief as Yugi snickered. "What?"

"Check your pocket Atem." Yugi said coolly. Atem went wide eyed and checked his jacket pocket only to find his deck.

"I guess I'm still used to it being there…" Anzu put her hand on his.

"I've been waiting to see you duel again Atem. Please duel me." she said with a sweet smile. Atem looked at her, shocked to even be asked to pick up a duel disk again, let alone his deck. And to duel Anzu? Out of the question. But her smile did not let up, she kept looking at him.

"Anzu, you don't have a deck." Yugi gave his to her. "A duel disk." Yugi gave her his. "I'm not dueling, period." Atem got up and left. Anzu went wide eyed at his actions.

"Yugi, what happened to him?!" Anzu stood furious.

"I was hoping you would figure it out because he won't tell me a thing." Anzu blinked in confusion before blushing. She shook her head and ran off to find Atem.

After she left, Joey woke up, finally, and Tristan went over. "Dude are you alright?!"

"Quit yellin' at me dumbass! Ooooow…" Joey rubbed his now swollen head. Yugi sighed and went over to them to help Joey up.

Anzu rushed once again through the streets of Domino. But this time, it was to find her friend. She searched everywhere she thought he would be. The game shops, the arcades, his house, the museum, and nothing. She then remembered one place he could be… "Maybe, just maybe…" Already out of breath, Anzu took a final lap to that one place in Domino, that one place Atem might be.

Passing the café, the movie theater, the card shop, and the arcade, she saw the sunset clear in the orange sky as the sound of seagulls and gentle waves became clearer. Just before the beach, was a place to watch the sun. And sure enough, leant up against the metal poles that ran horizontally, was the tri-colored, brave, and heroic ex-pharaoh. His hair moving gracefully with the wind as his eyes were closed. Anzu took a moment to see how calm he was, especially when he was alone… she never really noticed it, maybe no one did. He looked so different all alone, not happy, but different. Taking, a deep breathe, she approached him.

"A-Atem…" He cringed from fright and turned to her, his features softening at the sight of her. He turned back to the sunset as she walked next to him. "Atem what's wrong? Why are you acting like this?" Atem smirked and scoffed as his bangs covered his eyes.

"Nothing, why?" Anzu got frustrated.

"Bull shit!" She slammed her hands down on the poles, having them vibrate. "Atem you're not acting like you! You're acting like… like…" Atem sighed.


"No! You're acting like someone who just wants to be alone! That's not you!" Atem stopped leaning and glared at her. Tilting his head slightly, giving off an insane vibe.

"And how would you know? How would any of you know who I am?!" He yelled as he advanced forward to her. Anzu went wide eyed, completely shocked. She took a step back.


"I am Pharaoh Atem! Born and raised in Ancient Egypt! I do not belong here! There is no place for me here! In this time!" Anzu gasped and placed her hands to her mouth. Covering her cries, only allowing silent tears to cascade from her oceanic eyes.

"He feels out of place…" Atem fisted his hands as his eyes flared with emotion.

"I'm not the King of Games! I gave up dueling so Yugi could live his life without my interference! Yugi and the others always say that I should be happy with the new life I've been given, but what type of life is it when I can't even do anything that would get in the way of everyone else's lives?!" Before he could finish, Anzu hugged him and leaned her heard on his shoulder talking into his ear, shocking him immensely. Though he couldn't help but hug back, holding her waist.

"You're not in anyone's way. Atem you can be you here, without having the royal court on you. You are the original King of Games. You can get that title by beating Yugi at the next tournament. This is your new life Atem," She moved her head back to look into his eyes. "Like I said before, don't see the unknown as your enemy," Atem smiled a little.

"And see it as an adventure." He finished. "Make a name for myself, start over." He sighed.

"What's wrong?"

"I have already thought of that Anzu it's just… If I do take the title, I don't know how Yugi will take it." Anzu giggled.

"That will give Yugi another goal just as every other duelist will. Beat the King of Games." Atem chuckled.

"Right…" They stood in silence for a moment just stared into each other's eyes. That was when they realized they were still in each other's arms. A blush quickly formed on Anzu's cheeks as Atem began shaking a bit. But once they looked into each other's eyes again, Anzu put her hands to Atem's cheeks and began to cry a little.

"I honestly thought I would never see you again… from that day…" Atem went wide eyed and felt his heart waver.

"Anzu…" he whispered.

"You've saved us so many times Atem. You saved the world, protected your friends… you deserve a free life Atem. Believe that, you belong here, with us." Atem felt his heart race from her words, she's been there to see it all, especially when he lost Yugi. She's been there from the start. Somehow, the outside world vanished and he could only see her. As the sun got lower to the water, the gap between them was closing. Their eye lids became heavy with each inch they took away from each other. As the sun disappeared behind the crashing waves of mother Earth's blue liquid, a spark ignited within Atem's soul. Moving gently across Anzu's lips with his own, secretly thanking Ra for his new found height. He found himself holding her tighter, bringing her closer to his body, not that he cared anyway.

Anzu wrapped her arms around her neck and held on to him as if her life depended on her grip. All she wanted to do at that moment was just give herself to him, her mind went fuzzy as their lips danced in a quickly heating dance.

They began losing air and broke apart, leaning their foreheads against the other, breathing deeply.

"Wow…" Anzu said hoarsely. Atem chuckled and removed his forehead from hers.

"What? Didn't think the Pharaoh was a good kisser?" He winked at her and she giggled. She kissed him once more before seeing the first of many fireworks. Looking up into the sky, they separated, but not without holding hands, as they watched the beautiful lights brighten the night sky as stars do. The multitude of colors, the sounds, the people behind them watching. Taking it all in, Atem looked over to his side to see Anzu, her eyes lighting up as the sky did, her eyes reflecting the outside world with her own light. "You may think I've saved you, but the truth is… you have saved me Anzu, more times than you think. Thank you, for saving me yet again."

Anzu felt the stare of dagger-like eyes and looked over to see it was Atem. She tightened her grip on his hand and whispered to him, "Maybe we should go celebrate with the others." Atem blinked in confusion.

"Celebrate what?" Anzu giggled as she saw the darkness lift from Atem's eyes and saw that spark of life he once had in them. She grabbed his arm and pulled him as she ran.

"You're new Independence Atem! You're new life!" Atem ran with her, confused for a moment, but then… a big bright smile swept his face as fireworks lit the skies above them.

Laughing, Atem said. "Yeah!" The two ran through the night as a couple of normal teenagers do. Meeting back with the guys, they noticed their Atem was back. "Yeah…" Atem put on a determined visage and took out the duel disk facing Yugi. After activating, Atem shouted "It's time to duel!" Yugi smiled and grabbed his, and with this, the true celebration began.

I didn't know how to end it properly so sorry if its bad...

Well, you guys know what to do! Like it, review it, flame it, hate it! Do what you want with it ^~^!

~Until we meet again!