Hey there! Writer's block is the worst, ne?! Anyway, I did start the other
story I said I would wait on till I finished this one, but couldn't help myself
O_o I'm not posting it here, it's on my website, and a little word of caution,
I am actually debating about posting it here, just for a while to get some real feed-back... not that the feed-back I've gotten all ready isn't... nevermind... on with the epilogue already!
Sam began to stir, finding himself being surrounded by a blur of white lab coats, one running to his side. The wearer's face streaming with tears.
"Hon...ey?" he repeated weakly, "What?"
"Must have been quite a trip." Al observed. He watched Sam try to motion to him and he chuckled, "Sam, you don't have to do that. You can talk to me..."
"What? Al? They... you?" Al joined the crying woman by Sam's bedside.
"You're home. Remember anything?"
"Well, no..." As he sat up, the woman began to calm down and embrace him. He returned the guesture and a wave of memories came crashing through him. The woman felt familiar and safe, "D-Donna? Donna!"
"He's back! He's really back! Can I keep him this time, Al? He doesn't have to leave again like the last time? He's home for good..."
"He's home for good this time, right Sam? Your leaping days are..."
"Done! I'm home! I'm married to a wonderful woman I can't believe I left in the first place... and a second place? I was home before?!"
"Uh, yea, Sam see you kinda lept into..." Al started, Verbeena cut him off.
"Let them enjoy their reunion, Al. Let's go." She said, leading him and all the other onlookers out.
"I'm so sorry, Donna. I really hope I didn't..."
"We went over that the first time. You did nothing wrong, the first or second time. By the way, Al said you may or may not remember something about this. He gave me these, said we should go..." She handed Sam a pair of colorful tickets. He looked them over curiously.
"King of Games Tournament 2004? What...?" he tried, but nothing was coming to him, "Al say anything else about these? Just that I "may or may not remember"? Sounds like Al." he sighed, "I have no id..."
"He said going may help. Said it should be fun. He's been to a few himself..."
"Going may help what? I just got home, these are for tomorrow..."
"Come on!" she pressed. Sam was begining to believe she knew something.
"Alright. We'll go. But there's one thing I need to take care of before I do anyting else." he said as he took her in his arms.
"And what could that possibly be?"
"Well, I think there are a few things I remember..." he said taking her closer.
Sam and Donna met Al and Tina outside the stadium. Sam watched the curious crew of people scrambling in and out.
"Remember a trip to Egypt, Sam?" Donna asked.
"These cards are based on inscriptions found by a man named Maxamillian Pegasus..." Al said, waving his cigar around. If there was one smell Sam didn't miss, but it did made it real.
"Yes! How anyone could forget a name like that!", Sam laughed. "So there are tournaments for these things now, huh?" .
"There have been for a while... oh, right, you haven't been... " Tina corrected herself.
"Sam, did you look at the seating on your ticket?" Al asked.
"Not really, why...?" he looked over the ticket again, "Floor? We're sitting on the floor?"
"No, no! We were invited! We have special sideline seating..."
"Invited? By who? Why?"
"You wouldn't believe me in five thousand years, Sam." Al mused, "Let's go! I told them we'd try and get here early..."
After haggling with a security guard, Sam, Al and the girls made their way through.
"What is this..." Sam scanned the huge arena. On the floor were two huge podiums, or so they seemed like podiums, on either side of the court. Between them was a grid with several projectors on either side. "They play this card game with this?!"
"Yea, Sam, it's incredible! This kid, Seto Kaiba..."
"Please, Tina, I don't need any reminders of that kid!" Al remembered very well the way he treated their "patient" durring the leap. He gave Al the creeps.
"Besides, Tina, don't spoil it for him! He's never been to anything like this!" So Donna did know what was going on!
"Al! Over here!" they all looked over to the caller; a young man, late teens, early twenties, decked out in tight black clothing, leather and chains.
"Al..." Sam whispered, "... you know this kid?"
"Kid?! This kid..."
"Come on, Al! Don't spoil it!" Donna warned again.
They made their way over to the young man. He and Al shaking hands and exchanging friendly smiles. Sam knew Al knew some interesting people, but this one, he didn't know what to think.
"Sam, this is Yami." Al introduced.
"Y-yami? "Darkness" in Japanese, right?" He reluctantly took his hand, "Nice to meet you..." he added softly.
"Nice to finally, truely, meet you, Sam. And you're right, "darkness". See, my host..."
"Uh, Yami! Icsne... not yet, not yet!" Al cut Yami off, he didn't think Sam was ready for the full story just yet.
"Welcome, everyone!" came a voice over the speakers sending Al into a near fetal position, covering his ears and closing his eyes.
"Al! Get up! What's wrong..." Sam started, then as the announcer continuted to introduce himself, Sam finally understood.
"I'm Seto Kaiba, your host this evening..."
"Isn't he cute?!" Tina seemed like she was ready to pinch his cheeks. Al on the other hand, as hard as he tried not to, could still hear everything and poked her in the ribs, "Oh! Sorry again, baby!"
"Al had a run-in with him durring your leap..." Yami offered.
"How is that possible?! And how do you know anything about leaping?!" Al and Yami ignored the questions, neither sure how to explain. Yami was anxious to explain other things and get to know the man who saved his best friend's life.
"Hey, Yug! How's it goin' there?! Who's your friends?" This young man seemed a little more approachable to Sam than the deep voiced punk; this one was in khaki pants and a dark blue button-down shirt. No chains, no leather. The one thing that did catch his eye; a huge scar from his ear to the middle of cheek.
Same gang at one time, perhaps? Sam felt horrible for thinking the way he was; of all the things he should have learned durring his leaping, it was to never judge a book...
"This is Jo... oh..." Al was ready to introduce them, forgetting Joey wouldn't know anything about him.
"Huh?! You know me, huh?"
"Joey, please don't!" Yami begged.
"I'm not! Hey, you dulin' in this one?"
"Of course! You?"
"Nah, I just came at the off chance I'd run inta ya. I was just in town on the lecture circut..."
"You lecture?!" Sam spoke up. He couldn't imagine this kid being much of a speaker with his grammer. Donna elbowed him, seemingly embarassed.
"Uh, yea... sorry for not introducing myself. Joey Wheeler. I'm a friend of your friend's here from back in high school."
"A very good friend. I'm just sorry we haven't been able to keep in touch." Yami said solemnly.
"Yea, me too... I'm actually expected at the high school up the road for a lecture, sorry I can't stay..."
"It's all right. It was good seeing you again." they hugged their good byes, and he shook everyone hands and left. Sam couldn't help notice the hurt in Yami's eyes.
"Really good friends, huh?"
"We went through a lot together..."
"What does he lecture on, anyway?"
"Abuse." Al answered.
"Ab... so that scar...?"
"Belt buckle... CRACK!" Al's emphisis caused Sam and Yami to flinch.
"Is he one of my leaps? Was I him?!" this was the part Al couldn't wait to get to. He nudged Yami's arm and they both nodded in agreement.
"No, Sam... you were me."
"You?! But I thought people didn't remember me being..."
"Settle down Sam, this is the good part! You weren't really Yami..."
"What the hell is going on?! Someone answer me straight please!" Sam didn't realize he had yelled quite as loud as he did, concidering all the background noise of people setting up, and an announcer. He looked around and noticed everything had stopped, and all eyes were on him, "Uh, sorry! Very sorry..." he said as he slumped into his seat, "Please!" he quietly exclaimed.
"You remember this?" Yami had a huge, what seemd to Sam a keychain, dangling from one of the chains on his belt.
"This is huge! You just carry this around...?"
"Usually I wear it around my neck. I have to. Al said I should try and find a way to hide it to "spring" it on you later."
Sam continued to examine it; light weight, yet pure gold. On closer inspection, Sam could tell this was very old and in many pieces, like it had been broken, or was a puzzle of some sort. Inscribe on the front was, "The Eye of Horus! This is incredible! It must be at least three-thousand years old..."
"Five or six-thousand... give or take a few..." Yami corrected.
"Where did you get this?! How did you get this?!"
"Who's Yug..." As Sam said the name, it had dawned on him; Joey called Yami "Yug"... Yugi?
"Remember Yami here about to tell you about a "host"?"
"Yea, so, I assumed Yami is from Japan, and he lives with a..."
"Yami is Egyptian and lives in a host..." again, Sam lost it; it took Yami and Al to pull him back into seat, "You lept into Yugi to save Joey's life! Only problem was, Yami lives, so to speak, in this puzzle! The puzzle didn't leap with Yugi, so Yami here, the spirit of a Pharaoh traped in the puzzle, stayed! You shared double duty with him!"
"Al, what have you been packing into your cigars?! This is nuts..."
"This is true. You saved Joey's life..."
"That isn't nuts! That's what I was leaping for; put right what was wrong..."
"... with my help." Yami finished.
"That's nuts! Prove it! I'm a scientist! I can take it!"
"Prove you can take it first, Sam... you're loosing your cool! You lept into peoples' lives and bodies and you're going to sit there and tell us we're nuts!?" Al scolded.
Sam calmed down enough to think it through. He tried to go back in his mind to his trip to Egypt; the carvings- stories of monsters plaguing the earth. People using the monster to do their bidding...Ancient bed time stories!, he remembered thinking to himself. One carving in particular seemed to have everyone scrambling; a Pharaoh with no name. He searched and searched for the image, somewhere in his brain; carvings of a balance and scales, a ring... it was coming to him now... the puzzle! A pyramid shaped puzzle above the head of the unkown great...
"Pharaoh! I can see it! The carving! You! And there was a mage, uh no, a priest! He was battling you..." Sam searched the arena again. What were the odds this priest had reincarnated as well?
He set his sights on the host sitting just across the floor from them, eyeing "Yami/Yugi".
"Him! It's him!" he tried not to make another scene, but the discovery of a lifetime was right under his nose.
"He doesn't believe it Sam. He believes nothing. He was shown the carvings, but he was convinced they were a cruel hoax. He and Yugi have been rivals since high school, so he chalked it up to just that."
"Would you like to meet Yugi?"
"Uh, no Yami, I don't think that would be a good idea, concidering it was Yugi he lept into..."
"Hey, I got to meet someone I saved!" Sam exclaimed as he came back down to earth.
"This just now coming to you?!"
"I couldn't have done a very good job of protecting him if..." he made slashing motion across his cheek, not wanting to say out lout what he was thinking.
"You did a fine job, Sam. Joey is very stubborn, and did irritate you a great deal, believe me, I could feel it, but you did it."
"What did I do exactly?"
"Just know you saved an important life." Al cringed at his own corniness, but it was true, "This lecture thing he does and the fact he's going to school to be a shrink, he saves a lot of kids in situations like his..."
"Abused..." Sam said coldly, "How could anyone..."
"Round four!" came over the p.a., "Yugi Mouto versus Mai Wheeler! Take your places!"
"That's me, Sam. It was nice getting to meet you..."
"It was great to meet you! We are going to have to get together again! You, you, are an archeaological treasure!"
"Maybe." he didn't seem too receptive to the idea of being studied.
"Oh, Yami, wait!" Al called, "We forgot to tell him the important part!"
"Important part?" As if any of it wasn't important.
"Yami sent you home!"
They watched the two- Al a little more closely to this Mai Wheeler- take their places. They were friendlier to eachother than the other players had been.
"Hey, Al... that Joey, his last name is..."
"Yea, Sam..." Al said glumly, "I said it before and I'll say it again; what a waste!"
My gaw! Done! Done! I know, you all hated it, I've been letting a lot of people down these last couple of parts, but ya know, it just feels good to have it done!
Arigatou! Ja ne!