(Author's Note: Hey y'all! Thanks so much for checking out this alternate universe wherein Kaylie decides to stay in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe. As mentioned before, this is sort of a sequel to A Twist in Fate, so if you haven't read that, this won't make any sense. Make sure to check that out. Also, I'll take suggestions on different situations that could arise for our characters, if anyone has ideas. Y'all are awesome, and I've enjoyed writing these stories immensely!)
Kaylie stepped back, wiping her hand across her forehead. It was a rather hot summer day, and despite having every window in her bedroom open, the paint fumes from the fresh paint on her walls were making her dizzy.
"Hey! That looks really good!" Mokuba Kaiba peeked his head around the door admiring her handiwork. Where there had once been plain, white walls, there was now a beautiful fantasy scene that ran around the room. On one wall, a mighty dragon perched on top of a castle in the distance, while nearby fairies were frozen over the quick, even strokes that created grass near the bottom of the wall. A giant stone wall surrounded the window, and jumped to the next wall to cover the door as well, ivy creeping along the painted cracks in the stone. Flowers bloomed around the room, adding a splash of color to the landscape. The final wall was graced with a giant, white unicorn that stared off to the side, looking like it could take off at any minute.
"I can't believe it's finally done..." Kaylie sank to the floor, sighing. Her entire body was covered in paint. Even her face had splotches of color, though how it got there she would never know. "My parents told me I could paint a mural in my room in our new house if I took the smallest bedroom... Now I not only have my mural, but the bedroom isn't too bad."
She glanced around the large room, devoid of any furniture. It had been a couple days since Dartz had been defeated and they had returned to Japan. True to his word, Kaiba had actually agreed to let Kaylie stay with them, which was rather fortunate. No one had the resources to get her the proper identification papers like Kaiba did. Not that he'd been around to help a whole lot. That honor had fallen on his younger brother, who was eager to arrange anything Kaylie wanted.
Almost too eager.
And that was about the story of her life. Ever since she had chosen to stay, all of her new friends had done their best to make sure she felt welcome, and like it was the right choice, and help her feel at home. She knew they meant well, but it was almost stifling. Sometimes she just wanted to yell at all of them to give her time to adjust and figure things out. Things didn't have to be exactly the way they would have been had she returned home. If that's what she had wanted, that is the choice she would have made.
But then again, she wasn't sure this was what she wanted. She thought back to a couple days earlier, standing on the shore of the small island with the Pharaoh and his friends staring at her as she weighed her options.
She had been so set on returning home. Even the Pharaoh's pleading hadn't convinced her to stay... but now, seeing his friends- no, her friends - standing there and cheering that they had survived... her mind wasn't set anymore.
"Hey Yugi!" Mokuba called from the chopper. "And Kaylie!" He paused, his smile faltering as he took in the portal and Mystical Elf. "What's going on?"
"Oh great... now what?" Kaiba groaned, even though Kaylie swore she caught the hint of a smile.
"Kaylie's going home..." Yugi explained. "Back to her world..."
"Home!?" Mokuba jumped down, and raced over. "You don't have to go! You can stay here! Y-you could live with me and Seto!" He turned to look at his brother with pleading eyes.
Kaiba rolled his own, and heaved a sigh, "Only if she gave up her Blue-Eyes card..."
"Seto!" Mokuba growled.
"I'm kidding... I guess it would be nice to have someone else around..." Kaiba grunted.
"Like an older sister!" Mokuba cheered.
Kaylie bit her lip. Her family had always been there for her, but even that hadn't stopped her from deciding to kill herself before this mess happened. She loved them, but it was because of that love that she had wanted to leave their lives forever. She was tired of being a burden to them. But this way... this way was much easier. She could continue to live, but she wouldn't be imposing on them. Zac, her best friend back home, would tell them the truth. They'd be happy knowing she was safe, and that she loved them.
The things weighed heavy on her mind, but she was running out of time. Even now, she could see Mystical Elf straining to keep the portal open. She shook her head, tears squeezing out of her eyes. Finally, she looked up at the Pharaoh and sighed, "I once imagined my family's life without me, and I was okay with that... And I know what your lives will be without me... and I'm okay with that too..."
"But I can't imagine it..." The Pharaoh frowned. "You might know what happens, but we don't have to. You are welcome to stay, and we'll figure it out."
Kaylie took a deep breath, "Okay."
"Okay?" Mokuba asked, almost too excited.
"Okay..." Kaylie confirmed. "This is the path life set me on, and I was ready to leave my family before... They'll be okay... It's time for me to spread my wings, and make my own life for myself."
Even as she said it, and Mystical Elf shut the portal and bid her farewell, she couldn't seem to swallow the knot in her throat. Yugi and the gang were thrilled, and she allowed herself to get caught up in the excitement... but flying back to Japan, she felt that familiar weight in her stomach, and mentioned something about being motion sick before disappearing into the bathroom to be alone.
"No regrets..." she mumbled softly under her breath. What was done was done.
"I can't wait for Seto to see," Mokuba chattered on and on, unaware of Kaylie's inward struggle. She numbly followed him through the massive house to the kitchen to get a drink, all the while the young teen talked about other plans they had to get her all settled in. She'd need a driver's license and identification papers. The nearby schools weren't bad, but maybe an online college would be better for her chosen course of study. Asian theatre was quite different from Western theatre, after all.
"Mokuba, I think I'd like to take a break from painting and go shopping. As much as I appreciate washing this outfit over and over, I think I need some new clothes..." Kaylie looked at the ground, somewhat embarrassed. The Kaiba brothers had supplied her with everything she needed, via the money she had been given shortly upon arriving in this world. Even though it had been a gift, she felt bad, and swore secretly that she would pay every penny back.
"That's a great idea. You've been up there painting all week..." And then Mokuba proceeded to list off every single shopping center in the area, and the types of clothes that could be found. Kaylie had to carefully push away her annoyance, and take a second to appreciate Mokuba's enthusiasm... but she hadn't been alone, in silence, since they landed in Japan.
Maybe it was better that way though.
Finding clothes that suited her taste was difficult, but not impossible. Plus, Mokuba had been plenty ready to help out. After spending the rest of the day, she finally had a wardrobe that would get her through a week without needing to wash anything. That was just about all she needed.
That evening, she sank down into the pillows in the spare room she was using until hers was complete. The silence sunk in, and she quickly found herself missing Mokuba's chatter.
Did I make the right choice?
She turned her head away from the window, a tear escaping its prison and leaving its trace on her pillow. She took a deep, shudders breath, and closed her eyes.
It didn't matter. She couldn't take it back now. All she could do was do her best to move forward, and continue trying to do the right thing. In the end, it was the intent of her heart that mattered, and she wanted to be happy.
Did that make her selfish? Maybe...
But right now, she just wanted to settle in, and figure things out. Just take it one step at a time... and, as it usually went, she was sure that when she woke up in the morning with a new day, she would feel much better.