Ari: Yea, yea, another story.


Ari: Not that depressing… At least, not until the ending.

Yugi: …

Ari: Anyway… Following in Sage's example, I'm also warping a fairy tale. The Little Mermaid. As most of you probably know, in the original story, the ending is very sad. Well… I'm following the original story.

Yugi: .

Ari: Buuuuuuuuuuuut… The beginning's fine. Fine-ish. Anyway! I dunno how many of you will like this. It's depressing-ish, and I put lots of descriptions. The language is purty… At least, to me.

Yugi: Yes, and there might be a le—

Ari: Not without saying the disclaimer!

Yugi: *sulks* Ari doesn't own Yu-Gi-Oh, or else who knows what might happen. This story contains Yaoi, which is malexmale stuff. The pairings will be Yami-chan and myself. And there's a liiiiiiittle bit of SetoxJou and BakuraxRyou if you look hard enough.

Ari: Okies. Now that's done…

Yugi: And now! *grins* There shall be a lemon! Eventually.

Ari: Yep… But for now, I'm leaving the rating PG-13. When I get to the lemon part, I'll change it to R. And I'm gonna be uploading the lemon elsewhere so if some of you younger readers don't want to read icky stuff you won't have to, and so that won't get mad at me…

Yugi:  So now, on to the fic! (And yea, Ari will get her other story updated eventually!)

Ari: Oooohhh, and I almost forgot! This story is dedicated to Radiany-Chan! ^_^ And here's a lil late (VERY late) Valentine's Day present to you all! (Eh, sorry it's not that great. I kinda only realized that I should draw one ON V-Day and rushed a bit.)

Chapter One My One Wish

   Amethyst eyes gazed longingly at the lacy film of white foam, dreaming. They floated, carefree, above the water. So far... So joyous... So... Free... The sun's rays kissed them gently, and they glimmered, as if in love with the light. They did nothing for the heavy mood of their amethyst-eyed observer.

   "What wouldn't I give..." the whispered words were from a soft, rosebud mouth of a wide-eyed boy who appeared no more than eight years of age. His violet eyes glistened, though there were no tears. There never were. This was the sea, where mingled the teardrops, the dew, the... blood.

   His arms extended beseechingly, thin, graceful. His eyes, filled with the tears of the sea, the pain of the hundreds, thousands of people that have wept upon its shores, searched for something more.

   The sea held no beauty for him, for he was its beauty, though he had never thought as such. He was too innocent to be vain, to pure to know the full extent of his perfection. He was not completely flawless, of course, but he was the best they had to offer, with his silky golden bangs, soft black-and-red hair, large amethyst eyes, and milky white skin. Those hearing his voice reveled in its sweet purity, the laughing voice of a child remaining in the arms of joy for all eternity. The more fortunate ones, the ones that have seen his heart, were truly blessed, for he opened his heart to them, to envelope them in his cheerfulness, kindness, his very essence.

   But who was there to support him? Who was there, when even his seemingly-limitless happiness ran short?

   The little purple-blue tail propelled him forward, its scales shimmering in a multitude of ever-changing iridescent lights. He did not care. He wanted nothing of the beauty of the sea. His tail, scales tinkering like bells, gossamer-thin fins like wings, served only one purpose for him. His one wish, one desire, one longing, was to see the land. He wanted to know the azure sky, the snowy clouds, the gentle zephyrs that teased his hair.

   His tail flicked out again, sending rainbows to the seabed below. He did not notice. Each movement brought him closer to the surface, closer to the land of his fragile, crystalline dream, closer to the land of his forbidden enemies. He knew that he should turn back, but he could not.

   "And why can't I go?" he asked the glistening bubbles of air that were rising with him. "I am old enough. I am sixteen... Why must I stay, when they could all go? Why can my brothers and sisters be free?"

   The bubbles did not answer. They never did. Yet, he knew why. He was the Ocean Master's treasure...

   The boy raised his hand to the surface, wanting to touch the cool breeze as soon as possible. He came up, bursting into the air, waterdrops flying off like pearls, glinting silver and red in the light of the setting sun.


   emerald eyes twinkled in laughter as amethyst eyes widened and tricolored-hair dived back into the sea. Iridescent tail followed, and the shape stayed still, under the water, peering up from under lowered lashes.

   "It's alright, little brother," the musical voice reassured. Yugi stared up through a screen of water at gold-flecked green eyes and sighed in relief. His eldest sister...

   "I want to see the human world..." he murmured softly, his sweet voice making hers seem almost rough. All eyes turned, mesmerized, as his shimmering tail rose above the water.

   The girl smiled indulgently as her brother pushed himself up tot he rocky ledge next to her, yet she shook her head, sending ripples through her sheet of silver hair.

   "You know how dangerous it is." It was a statement, not a question.

   He knew. He knew, but he still had to ask, repeating the same pattern of elusive answers and turned-away questions. Perhaps one day, he could figure them out. He needed to know. "Why is it dangerous?"

   To his surprise, she spoke plainly. It did nothing to comfort him. "Because they would try to capture you."


   For a while, she regarded him, as if measuring his worth, his maturity, his understanding. She sighed, a soft, sad sound, enough to bring tears to humans' eyes, yet sounding harsh and grating next to his.

   Finally, she answered, though against her better judgment. Constantly, she needed to remind herself that he was no longer a child, however he may look like one. "Because... If they see you, they would want you."

   "Want? Why would they want me?" Yugi blinked, large eyes filled with confusion. "I am not an object they could use."

   The mermaid shook her head sadly. He was as innocent as he appeared, after all. Oh, they will use you, little brother... They will use you like an object. He would not understand the subtext of "want" and "use". She changed the subject, as she always did when he asked a question like that. He was too innocent, too pure. She wanted to protect his overwhelming innocence, his extraordinary purity.

   "I found this by the king's castle," the silver-haired girl said, pulling out a purple-red flower from amid a chain of pearls on her head. It glimmered, as if trying to make itself more presentable in front of Yugi, the beauty of the sea. Its tassel-like petals reached towards him as a wind came, making him smile.

   "What is it?" Yugi asked curiously, his eyes shining with fascination. His hands reached to touch the soft petals that looked so much like drops of blood. A petal fell past him into the sea, a ruby stain upon the pearly foam.

   "It is called an amaranth," his sister whispered. "The ever-living flower of human songs." (A/N: Just to say,  I'm not certain if that is what an amaranth looks like. I've never seen a picture. My dictionary gave the description that it was red-violet, and very showy, with tassel-like petals. You'll see later why I chose this... ^_^)

   "So beautiful..." Yugi gazed to the far, distant shores, wishing he could go there. His older siblings could, yet he was forbidden to. The sea-folk valued him too much. They loved him, but their stifling love threatened to smother him.

   The emerald eyes followed the direction of the amethyst ones, to the white sails of a ship. Silver hair flipped from side to side as the girl shook her head. It was useless, she knew.

   "Please..." Yugi begged, eyes large and moist. It worked every time, just like the pattern of unanswered questions.

   "Come back before daybreak tomorrow," she murmured, sighing. Someday, harm would come to him. But he was not an object they could keep in one place. She, the one that usually took care of him when their parents were busy, understood his need for freedom. Thus, filled with worry, she let him go.

   The tricolored-hair boy zoomed happily and speedily towards the ship, the almost-gone sun behind his back. For the moment, the red-violet flower was forgotten in the excitement of seeing humans. Yugi leapt out of the water at intervals, almost resembling a dolphin. His eyes stared in amazement at the large ship, for it was unlike any he had seen before. Though all human sea-faring vessels seemed clumsy and unwieldy to him, this one held a certain air of elegance. It was made of white polished wood, gilded lightly with gold, silver, and gems. The shape was designed to cut through the water as a sharpened dagger cut through a piece of soft meat. Yugi shuddered at the image, which disappeared a moment later. His eyes turned to large white canvas sails, holding the wind. Soon... soon it would be night, and the humans would light their lanterns, the tiny pinpricks of fire twinkling, as if trying to compete with the stars above.

   Yugi turned, watching the last rays of sunlight die beneath the raging waves of the sea, and the silver-white moonbeams take their places. Suddenly, before his attention returned to the ship, a red ray of the dying sun pierced the moon's heart, and it seemed, almost, to well with blood. Swiftly, however, the ruby light drained, leaving the pale orb alone in a starless sky.

   "A child of royalty shall meet his doom," Yugi murmured the strange words that his sister had taught him. "When the moon's heart flows with blood, and the stars weep their lights away... Three days and three nights he has left, after the cock's crow." But whose child? Who will suffer this great tragedy, who will lose their treasure? The humans... or us?

   It did not matter much to him, in any case. Fate could not be changed. Besides, right now, his child-like interest was on the humans' ship, and the people within. It finally occurred to him that these were important people, by the richness of their clothing. The undershirts were made of silk, and the tunics of velvet. Gold and silver adorned the brightly-dressed humans.

   The bright colors, however, were many, and none really stood out. Human fabrics could not compare to the coral sparkling in the crystal sea. Metals and gems glimmered, but no more than fish scales, of which Yugi had seen plenty. What had, instead, caught the sea-beauty's eyes was a small, slight man with piercing ruby eyes. Eyes like the momentary blood moon...

   He was dressed in black, without a trace of color on his clothes. Simple silver buckles adorned his wrists, neck, and chest, having just as striking an effect as the others' bejeweled chains. Though he wore no crown, his expression of calm authority indicated to Yugi that he was the prince of the humans. His worst enemy...

   It seemed strange to Yugi that the son of the Sea King's enemy should look so similar to him, the sea-folk's most precious treasure. His curiosity was sparked even more at the fact that he felt a strange ache in his heart, something he had never experienced before. It was not actually painful, just kind of… uncomfortable. His mind kept telling him, relentlessly, that the human prince was handsome. Yugi tried to stop, but his eyes rove over the prince's chest, the muscles pushing against his tight linen shirt. His arms were bare, the muscles shifting and sliding with each movement. The light glinted over his skin, lightly tanned with a slight sheen of sweat. Yugi sighed unintentionally, he sound carrying to the ruby-eyed prince.

   The dancers stopped. A man with long violet hair and icy blue eyes walked over to the prince and whispered one word.


   Yugi gulped and trembled, as the pale eyes stared straight at him. They were slanted, glinting. The eyes of a cold, serious fighter. The irises were like pieces of ice. There were no pupils.

   A second later, the man turned away, dark robes swishing, an emerald staff clutched in his hands. He hovered near the prince protectively, as if expecting an attack of an army.

   "If you do not hurt my Prince, Mermaid, you may stay," he invited softly. "If your intentions are harmful, I will be forced to protect him."

   Yugi remained silent, shrinking away. He was not hiding from the prince or his bodyguard in particular, but he had not wanted to be found. His sister's warning returned to his mind. "If they see you, they will want you."

   "Will you sing for us?"

   Yugi's head wrenched towards the source of the voice, knowing already who had spoken. The prince…The amazingly gorgeous prince… His voice was deep, beautiful, carrying a feeling of cocky confidence, but also a hint of soft gentleness. It reminded Yugi, surprisingly, of the sea, dangerous to its aggressors but loving to its friends. He hesitated. Should he sing? It was a request, not a demand…

   Yugi's voice lifted in a song that seemed appropriate. The prince asked him to sing for them, but he sang only for him… For the prince with the blood-red eyes… His worst enemy, the one his heart tugged him towards…

         In the moonlight I felt your heart

         Quiver like a bowstring's pulse

         In the moon's pure light, you looked at me

         Nobody knows your heart

         When the sun has gone, I see you

         Beautiful and haunting but cold

         Like the blade of a knife, so sharp and so sweet

         Nobody knows your heart

         All of your sorrows, grief and pain

         Locked away in the forest of the night

         Your secret heart belongs to the world

         To the things that sigh in the dark…

         Oh, the things that cry in the dark!

   (A/N: That, by the way, was the Princess Mononoke song.)

   So engrossed were the people in the mermaid's song that they failed to notice the storm clouds coming their way. None were ready as a crack of lightning lit the sky. It flashed for no more than a mere second, its blue slashes like the heart of the fire, as if reminding the humans just how insignificant their lives were to the great fabric of time, how easily those carefully-guarded lives could be snuffed out.

   "The mermaid!" a panicked voice declared. "It tricked us! As the stories said, my Prince, it used its song to lure us into its trap. Now, we will be lost forever, our kin never discovering our unfortunate demise."

   "Nonsense!" the prince replied firmly. "The mermaid had no more to do with this than we did."

   Yugi sighed in relief, a soft sound lost in the roar of thunder. The prince's belief was so important to him… For some reason, he knew that he would have sobbed out loud had he not have the prince's approval.

   However, the violet-haired bodyguard shook his head, a hand with long, slender fingers reaching up to brush loose strands of hair from his face. "It is the Ocean Master's wrath, Your Highness. He is not pleased that his child sang for mortal ears. The lightning is not random. It is thrown intentionally at us. Ready the lifeboats, my Prince."

   The prince paled. "Surely not… The mermaid would not…"

   The man shook his head again, raising a slim arm to block the assailing rain from his face. "No, I did not say it is the mermaid's fault. It is the lord of this sea who is angry at us."

   Discussion ceased as thunder roared like brawling lions and rain fell in streams like curtains. The moon was blocked from view and for that, Yugi was glad. Its prophesizing of death was clear to him already, for he knew what he would do. He had known since he had first laid eyes on the prince. His heart afraid, Yugi looked up again to the storm-darkened sky. Lightning streaked across, looking almost like blood vessels. Yugi shivered.

   As the threads of electricity snaked towards the ship, a few lifeboats dropped down its sides, and the party-goers climbed aboard, quickly untying the ropes that held them secure and rowing away. Yugi sent his own magic to the sea, willing it to be calm, that these people may escape, but his heart was elsewhere. His wildly thumping heart was with the prince.

   Then, as the people had feared, lightning struck the ship, breaking off the central mast and setting the once-white sales aflame. Yugi gasped in fear and disbelief as the prince ushered the remaining people, most likely his greatest and most loyal friends, onto the remaining lifeboat.

   "Prince, you can't…!!" a young man with short brown hair protested. "The kingdom needs you! You need to be here…"

   "Seto…" the prince murmured. "Take care of Jou and keep him out of trouble." He turned to a youth with long white hair and a dangerous smile. "Bakura, make sure that Ryou is safe."

   The golden-haired Jou stared in fear. "No! Yami, you're the heir to the throne! You can't die!"

   "What kind of a prince would I be if I don't place my people's lives above my own?" Yami asked softly. "Take your sister home, Jou. And you, Seto, protect little Mokuba. The Sea King is upset with me, I think. He will not go after the rest of you."

   "No…!" Ryou called tearfully, trying to struggle out of Bakura's grasp, his own long, snowy hair darkened with soot, his chocolate-brown eyes filled with fear. The older white-haired teen held him close, trying to whisper comforts into his lover's ear.

   Had Yami wanted to escape, he could not now, as a bolt of lightning, with the precision of an arrow, severed the thin line that held the lifeboat to their ship. The prince watched, his face determined, as the fire began to devour his ship, coming towards him, closer each second. He watched, blood-red eyes emotionless, as his life seemed to slip away, each second another handful of sand in an hourglass. His regret and consolation was that he had never found love. He had never experienced that sweet, gentling feeling that all his friends have found, but at least he would not have someone cry over his death. Little did he know of mermaids' emotions…

   "Doushite…?" Yugi whispered. (A/N: "Why…?") "Doushite, Grandpa? I sang willingly… Why are you punishing him?" His soft voice raised into a heartbreaking wail. "Doushite?!"

   The prince turned to the beautiful, sad voice, but his eyes met nothing in the cold, uncaring night. But the voice… the voice… His eyes filled with tears as his resolve broke. Despite what he said, he did not want to die. Not yet… not without seeing the owner of that haunting voice. His greatest enemy… to whom now belonged his heart.

   "Jump into the water!" the mer-boy called, frantic. "You should not be punished for this!"

   From the dark shadows came the soft glimmer of two violet orbs, innocence shining brighter than the sun. They illuminated the gentle face, the shimmering golden bangs. Yami gasped, his eyes riveted.

   Then… then, the lightning, an executioner's blade, raced towards its target. Yami was still frozen in place.

   "IIE!" Yugi exclaimed, and bent his will towards the lightning. Against the raging anger of the Ocean King, he pitted his love, his value of precious life, and pushed the lightning aside.

   The bolt struck, not its fatal strike that would have cremated the ruby-eyed prince, but an explosion that broke the ship apart.

   The boy cried out in dismay. Had he saved the prince from lightning only to lose him to the jealous sea? The one to whom he gave his love, they would hate, he knew. But how… how could he not love this youth, when his heart tugged him so?

   Yami had a split second to register what had happened before he hit the choppy waves. He fell through the gloomy water, his mind reeling, his lungs bursting for air. The last of his breath left his mouth and he sank, unresisting. His death would save his people. He had already received his prize – the song of the mermaid.

   Blood-red eyes saw a flash of iridescent blue, shimmering more beautifully than the stars. He gasped in air as a mouth closed over his, the lips softer than the petals of the most delicate flower. Pale arms encircled him, pulled him back to life, as he gazed into amethyst eyes. Silky hair brushed his face as the lips touched his again, to give him the life-supporting oxygen that humans needed so much. Yami was mesmerized.

   After what seemed like eternity – an eternity that passed all too quickly – the two, human and mermaid, worst enemies and most beloved, surfaced. The prince sighed and rested his head unconsciously against his savior, he himself wondering what the sigh was for. Was in relief that he could breathe again? Or… was it in disappointment that those soft lips no longer touched his?

   With the prince held tightly in his arms, Yugi propelled himself towards the shore. Though he was reluctant to admit it, he enjoyed having the human close to him. His flesh, almost frozen, was starting to warm again. The boy nuzzled Yami's hair, breathing in his spicy scent, even more exotic mixed with the salty seawater. Love… That word turned in his head. Love… Do I love him?

   There, a rock! The exhausted mer-boy tugged the prince closer to him and used a last burst of energy to bring him to the point of safety. Letting go reluctantly, he slipped back into the water to rest. How long have they been swimming? The pink flushes of dawn hinted at the horizon. It would be dawn in less than an hour.

   "Urgh…" the prince groaned, sitting up. His eyes settled immediately on the little figure peering up at him shyly, and his breath caught in his throat. Without knowing it, he ran his hand through the mass of silky hair, the last few strands of sun-gold bangs still trailing from his fingertips as he came to his senses. There was one world on his mind – beautiful.

   "Can you make the rest of he way to shore?" Yugi asked softly, turning away as something stung his eyes. Tears…? He wanted to stay, but that would only cause more trouble. His heart was torn at the thought that he would never again see this kind, gentle, wonderful – and absolutely gorgeous – human.

   "Yes," Yami murmured, never removing his ruby eyes from the pale-skinned beauty. Was that a crystalline tear? "Thank you… I owe you my life, Mermaid."

   The boy pulled himself onto the rock and threw his arms around the prince's neck. Yami's skin was surprisingly smooth.

   "Y-you…" The prince was shocked. "You're a boy?! I thought you were a – I mean… Oh, good grief."

   "You thought that I was a girl?" Yugi asked, feeling his vision cloud with tears. "Is that the reason you…" His voice trailed off. Of course. He had never considered that the prince might not love him. Everyone else did. A crystalline drop wended its way down his cheek.

   Yugi looked up as a gentle hand caressed his skin, his eyes meeting sincere ruby. Yami smiled and leaned down, kissing away his tears. The prince's heart ached to see someone so innocent and pure in pain, though from what, he could not tell. Unless… His breath caught. Could it be? "Why do you cry, little one?"

   Amethyst eyes blinked in surprise, and the frail, pale-skinned boy leaned closer to the tanned, muscular one. The soft mouth opened, but no words came out as his ears picked up sounds from the beach. Gasping softly, Yugi dove back into his sanctuary.

   "Wait!" Yami pleaded. "Wait, little one! Please… at least tell me your name!"

   The tiny body came up again, pressing his lips to Yami's in a chaste kiss. "My name is Yugi… Yami-Chan."

   As the people at the shoreline spotted the prince, Yugi returned to the refuge of the sea. The last that Yami saw was a flicker of his tail, glistening in the light of the ominous, setting moon, as dawn crept nearer to the horizon.

   "Yugi…" Yami murmured, staring at the now-calm waters until the young women taking a walk on the beach came to "save" him.

   The mer-boy swam in a daze, his vision obstructed by what could only be tears. But how? He was confused. Mermaid did not cry. Mermaids were incapable of crying. That is, they were incapable of crying unless they loved a human.

   Yugi changed this direction. There was no time to go home. They would try to stop him if they knew what he wanted to do. They would try to kill the prince if they knew his reason for doing that. He could not allow that.

   Coral, brightly colored, flashed past, but the boy did not care. He must do this quickly, and quietly. There was no time for sightseeing. However, he could not suppress a deep sigh of regret. If his plan worked – or ever if it did not – he would never see this underwater world again. The revelation struck his heart like a dagger, but his heart belonged to another now.

   Finally coming upon the place for which he searched, Yugi knocked on the door-like shell gently, unconsciously chewing on his bottom lip anxiously. The last moments in the sea… He regarded the sights around him, the vibrant fish with their iridescent scales, the seagrass waving like multitudes of tentacles, the sparkling, crystalline sand, and the mysteriously shimmering coral. They beckoned to him, begged for his love. He could give none.

   "Come in," a soft voice called, and the door opened, slowly, magically.

   Upon Yugi's entry, a strange light seemed to turn on, illuminating a shimmering, pearly interior decorated extravagantly with ancient reassures, some of which were from human lands thousands of miles away from the sea. In the middle of the room, surrounded by long-forgotten artifacts, rested a woman, her face as young as newly born plants, her eyes as wise as the ancient objects of which she was so fond. Her face seemed to be in perpetual shadow, only her large, cat-like green eyes showing, in such a contrast against her garnet-colored hair. The blood-like red reminded Yugi of the reason he came. Yami…

   "What do you want, Beauty of the Sea?" the green-eyed woman asked. "Why have you come to me?"

   "I… well…" Now that Yugi was here, he did not know what to say. "I need… That is…" He searched for the right words. Time was running out!

   "If it is in my power, I shall grant it," the woman murmured.

   Yugi has decided. "Sorceress, turn me into a human."

   The sorceress gaped. "A human, Yugi? Why? I know you liked their world, but…"

   Even in the water, the sorceress could see crystal-clear teardrops gather at the boy's eyes. For a moment, she could not believe what was happening. Then, her head bowed in defeat. "I see. I can, but…"

   Amethyst eyes lit up the boy's face. "Then, please, please let me be a human!"

   "Who has captured your heart so? How wonderful is she, that she won what we could not gain in so many years? Who is it, Yugi, that you love?"

   The boy shook his head. "Not she… He… He is the King's son. He is… my worst enemy." The tears threatened to spill, to mingle with the many others in the sea, no other of a mermaid. "I… I'm sorry! I do love you. I love all of you! But not like this. Not like a dagger that pierces my heart each second I'm away from him."

   "I understand." The woman looked away. "I have the spell for it. But would you be willing to take the risks? Would you be willing to give up that which the spell requires, bear the pain, and risk death?"

   "Anything!" Yugi declared. "Anything, to be with him."

   "Each step you take would be like shards of crystal rocks piercing your feet. Every second he is not with you would be as if your heart was being torn out of your body." The red-haired woman hesitated. "Your life… Your life is at stake. This spell lasts for three days. In that time, the one you love must marry you. If he does, then you will live the rest of your life as a human. If not… if not, your soul would be lost, and you would be nothing but foam upon the waves, forever yearning for the life which you cannot have."

   The boy sucked in a breath. The blood-red moon… The normally-pale disk in the sky that shone with a celestial light the color of Yami's eyes… The fatal prophecy, hanging ominously like a veil, obscuring his sight, clouding his common sense…

   "I don't care…" Yugi whispered. "I would rather live three days with him than face all eternity without." (A/N: Where have I heard that before…? It just sounds so familiar…)

   "You seem certain that you would die."

   The amethyst-eyed boy turned to her. "Have you seen the moon tonight? Have you seen it at sunset? The snowy orb, stained red by blood… The paleness of death, swallowed by the eternal blackness of unaware nothingness… Three days."

   "Then stay with us, Yugi, I beg of you!" the woman beseeched. "Stay and live!"

   "If not my death, then his," he said softly. "I would rather he live. Please, prepare the spell."

   The sorceress turned away, leafing through her book, seaweed pages bond by the substance of which pearls were made. There was one spell that might still save him. There was one spell that would allow him to change back once he saw just how deceiving humans could be. She could only hope that he would not be too naïve to notice.

   "Your voice…" she murmured. "You must give up your voice."

   Yugi nodded expressionlessly. "Anything and everything, I would be willing to give."

   The redhead could understand. Once, she loved someone that much. She had given everything, only to be betrayed by him. She hoped desperately that it was not the case here. Yugi's happiness meant so much to all of them.

   "Swim to the surface, Yugi. Do not lift your head above the water until you are at the shore. At the first breath of air, you will be a human."

   As the boy swam away, mutely nodding a farewell, she closed her eyes in grief and sank down.

   "I'm… s…o…r…r…y…"

   A sharp contrast to the pain his people were about to experience, Yugi was bursting with joy, with insuppressible hope. A part of him longed to remain with the familiar beauty of his home, but his heart was set on the human prince. The prospect of seeing him again surpassed any fear of death.

   'Yami-Chan… Yami-Chan, I'm coming!' (A/N: Since Yugi can't talk now, most of his thoughts and the dialogue suggested by his actions will be '…')