A Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction by Yuugi Motoh

DISCLAIMER: the author of this story does not own any of the characters featured herein. This is written as a non-profit fan fiction and is not intended to infringe on the copyrights of Kazuku Takahasi (creator of Yu-Gi-Oh!), UpperDeck, 4Kids, Shonen Jump, or any and all other entities connected with the card game, anime, or manga.

TIMELINE: this takes place somewhere during the "Battle City" arc, when the Rare Hunters are still after Yugi Moto and his friends. If there are any inconsistencies, especially in the use and powers of the cards, the author apologizes in advance. (I'm brand-new at Dueling.) The American names/spellings will be used for the most part, since that's what I'm most familiar with.


The place which is closed is opened... that which lieth down in the closed place is opened by the Ba-soul which is in it. The road of souls is opened.

Ye shall not hold captive my soul. Ye shall not keep in durance my shadow. The way is open to my soul and to my shadow.

--portion of the translation of the "Egyptian Book of the Dead", by E.A Wallis Budge.


"Huh?" Yugi Moto blinked, snapping out of his daydream, and looked around. "Oh, hi, Téa. How's it going?"

"How's it going, he says." Téa planted her fists on her hips and glared down at her friend. "I'm ONLY been standing here talking to you for the past 3 minutes. Haven't you heard a word I said?"

"Um..." Yugi tapped his fingers together nervously. "Um... no..."

With an exasperated sound Téa dropped down on the grass beside Yugi. "So what's on your mind? It can't be the schoolwork. I know you can blow through math class without breaking a sweat." Her expression softened. "Was it... you and...?"

"Yami? No... it was all me this time." Yugi drew his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them, staring down towards the tips of his sneakers. "I was just remembering something. Trying to figure something out." He glanced at her, then, small face solemn. "I know you weren't there-- at least, I don't remember seeing you there-- but I'm sure you heard from Joey about the Rare Hunter that stole his Red-Eyes Black Dragon."

"Sure. And I heard all about how you won it back for him."

"Yeah, he gave it to me. Said it'd come in handy." Yugi smiled a little, then sobered again. "But what I guess Joey didn't tell you was about whoever it was that was inside the Rare Hunter."

"INSIDE the Rare Hunter..? You mean, another spirit?"

"Well, I'm not too sure. Whoever he was, he called himself 'Malik'. And he seemed really angry with me.. with US.. for some reason. I think he might have his own Millenium Item. And I think he somehow has the power to possess people. I don't know if he can only do it with his followers or not though."

"Brr, that's a scary thought. He could literally be anywhere, then, just waiting to challenge you to another duel."

Yugi nodded.

"You're not worried..." Téa bit her lip. "You don't think he might try to get inside YOU do you?"

"I don't think he can. I just have this feeling that he'd get a really nasty welcome if he tried. But I'm kinda scared for the rest of you. I don't know how to protect any of you." Yugi put a hand around the Millenium Puzzle. "There's so much I don't know about this thing. About Yami either. And so much HE still doesn't know. We need to win this tournament not only to stop whatever Malik's up to.. and Kaiba for that matter... but to try to find some answers. I mean, why me? Why am I the 'Chosen One' that Shaadi mentioned? Was Yami related to me somehow in the past? What is this weird bond I feel with him? And that girl at the museum, Ishizu... she knows something too. She promised we'd find our answers if we competed, but... I feel so helpless. I don't have any ideas what to do next."

Téa raked her hair back behind one ear and thought. "You said something about a bond with... with Yami. Are you sure that isn't just the Puzzle's magic? I mean, we know the Millenium Items all have special powers."

"No... no, it's more than that. I feel it... here." Yugi tapped his chest. "In my heart. It's almost like something was missing for a long time, so long that I never even knew it was missing till I found it. Even when I was fighting for control of the duel with Kaiba.. there was part of ME that I was fighting along with trying to stop Yami. I haven't told him this, but... I'm scared."

"Scared? Of him?"

"No.. well, kinda.. not scared of HIM, scared of something HAPPENING to him. I don't think I could bear it if something happened to Yami. I don't even know who he is and I still--!" The boy broke off in frustration, pounding his knees with both fists. "And I can't talk to him about it cause he might think I'm weird or something! But it's not like that. I don't know what it's like. And I don't know who to ask for help."

Gently Téa put a hand on Yugi's shoulder. "Maybe you could talk to your Grandpa. He's the one that gave you the Puzzle, after all. Maybe HE knows something."

"That's right!" Yugi's eyes widened. "Grandpa DID give me the Puzzle. And he told me I needed to trust the spirit. He must know SOMETHING." He flashed Téa a grateful look. "Thanks, Téa. You've got great advice, just like always."

"Hey, no problem," Téa laughed. "That's what friends are for, right? So cheer up. You want to walk down to the trading shop with me? I'm off today."

"Sure! Maybe Joey and Tristan will be there too. And Bakura. Though..." Yugi looked pensive. "You know, we really haven't seen a whole lot of Bakura since we got back from Duelist Kingdom. I hope he's okay."

"I'm sure he is. He's probably just got other things to do. He did just transfer here right before all that started.. Maybe his family's still trying to get settled in and he's helping out."


"'Eyyyyy Yuge!" Joey waved as Yugi and Téa entered the shop. "C'mon over, Tris an' I were just checkin' out a few things. Look at this, Wall of Illusion. Think I oughta add this to my deck?"

"Well, it's a useful card to bounce summoned creatures back into your opponent's hand," Yugi said, taking the card and studying it. "And it has a pretty good defense. Not a very strong attack, though. But you mustn't make the mistake of loading up your deck with too many high-level creatures."

"Yeah, like that punk you shut down the other day. Man, I can't believe he was carryin' so many pieces of Exodia!"

"Mm-hmm." Yugi nodded. "That's just what I mean. Like I told him, he had so many Exodias that there wasn't room for anything that could defend him if he COULDN'T play Exodia. I know it's tempting to power up your deck, with this tournament and all, but sometimes power isn't everything." Yugi handed the card back. "I'd say sure, take it, and see what kind of strategies you can work up around it." Turning, he began to riffle through the card boxes, stopping from time to time to study one or the other. A couple of times his head turned slightly to the side, as if listening to someone that no one else could see.

After a few minutes of this, Tristan ventured, "...Getting some advice?"

"Huh? Oh..." Yugi tucked a hand shyly behind his head and laughed a little. "Yeah."

"You mean he's here, right now?" Téa looked all around as if expecting to see something.

"He who?" Joey asked, scratching his head.

"The spirit of Yugi's puzzle, nitwit. Who did you think I was talking about, Santa Claus?" Téa bipped Joey lightly on the shoulder with one fist.

"He's always with me," Yugi answered absently, still checking the cards. "He's not always out talking to me, but he's always here."

"Out. Out of where?" Joey sidled closer, interested.

"His room." Yugi paused, looking thoughtfully up at the ceiling. "Imagine that your mind's a big room, filled with all the stuff you like. Kinda like your bedroom at your house. Well.. most people only have one room. I've got two. One's mine... one's his."

"So what's he got in HIS room?" Tristan said.

"I've only been there once... I guess I could go in if I wanted to, but I usually leave him alone. I don't want to seem like I'm butting in or anything." Yugi closed his eyes. "It's a big place," he said softly after a moment, seeing it in his mind's eye. "And it's like the Puzzle itself, in a way. There are turns and twists and doors and corridors; it's all stone, like the buildings in ancient Egypt. Which makes sense, since we're pretty sure that's where he comes from."

"Whoa wait, wait a sec, when did you learn all this?" Joey demanded. "An' how come you didn't cut me an' Tris in on it, huh?"

"WE found it out, thanks, the day Kaiba announced the beginning of the Battle City tournament," Téa said, folding her arms and leaning against the edge of the table. "Yugi and I-- well, the spirit and I-- went to the Egyptian Museum."

"Oooo, the muSEEEEum," Joey crooned, grinning. "So what, was it like a date or somethin'?"

"GROW UP!" This time Téa's fist slammed down on Joey's head. "If you're gotta know, Yugi thought I could give Yami some advice. That's what he's called-- Yami."

"Man, she hits like a ton a' bricks," Joey muttered, rubbing the lump on his head.

"Never mind those two, Yugi," Tristan said. "This 'Yami'. Is this the person... spirit... whatever.. that's been helping you out in your duels?"

"Uh-huh." Yugi nodded. "He's really good at it. Apparently the ancient Egyptians played a game a lot like Duel Monsters. You remember Grandpa's friend, Professor Hawkins?"

"Who could forget him-- and that obnoxious granddaughter of his. How a nice guy like him got saddled with a brat like her..."

"Rebecca's not so bad!-- Anyway. His theories about the game of Duel Monsters must be a lot closer to the truth than anyone realizes. And, somehow, Yami's destiny.. and mine... is all caught up in this tournament, and in the game. Because it's not just a game anymore." Yugi bowed his head. "It was real, then, and it might be real again, now, if we can't stop it."

"You're telling us the creatures and magic in Duel Monsters was once real?"

"Uh-huh." Another little nod.

"There was this girl at the museum," Téa added, taking up the story. "She called herself Ishizu. She said that Yami was the spirit of an ancient Pharoah that helped protect the world when the Duel Monsters game back then got out of hand. She said something about 'the Shadow Games'. Sound familiar?"

"Heck yeah!" Joey exclaimed, making a fist. "That's the same kinda stuff Pegasus was tossin' out when he was duelin' Yuge here."

"Let me guess, then." Tristan rubbed his chin. "These 'Shadow Games'.. someone is trying to revive them, to use that power for themselves."

"Partly, and partly they're trying to find all the Millenium Items. Each one has a special power of some kind. Though not all of them seem to have spirits inside. Bakura's did, and Yugi's does, but we just don't know about the others." Téa shrugged. "It's not like we can take out an ad in the paper, 'Tell us about your Millenium Item, win big prizes' or something."

"Hmm." Tristan frowned, then leaned over, looking at Yugi directly. "Yugi. Are you sure about this 'Yami'? I mean, I'm not trying to accuse him of anything. He's never been anything but our friend. But you don't sound very sure of your role in all this."

"Oh no, he understands," Yugi said quickly, shaking his head. "He'd think the same way if he was in our situation, which he is, kinda. I mean, he doesn't know that much more about himself than what we've already told you. But it's okay. I trust him. I know I can. He proved himself to me."

"Good enough for me then." Tristan nodded and reached out, ruffling Yugi's hair a bit. "You've got a pretty sharp way of spotting people who're worth their word. So what's our next move?"

"You've got me there. I really don't have any idea what to do next, except Téa suggested I should talk to my Grandpa. Aside from that it's sort of a wait and see. We can't do anything until they make a move first." Yugi flipped one final card over, and found himself staring down at a particular title: Souls of the Forgotten. "What did he know...?" he whispered, almost to himself. "What've WE forgotten... and how will we remember in time...?"


Swirling shadows, and the terrible feeling of something being pulled out of him, his energy bleeding away as he struggled to concentrate. Every play he made was crucial, he had to help the spirit win, but he was so tired, so TIRED... it was all he could do to reach out a hand towards the deck, but his fingers fell shy of it as the darkness rose up to drag him down, the move unmade, and so cold, he felt so cold--

"MM!" Yugi sat bolt upright in bed, both hands clapping over his mouth to stifle the shout. The clock at his bedside said 1 AM, and though he could hear faint sounds below as Grandpa puttered around in the shop, he really didn't want to worry the old man.

Someone else was already worried enough. //Yugi?//

"M'okay.. m'okay..." Yugi whispered into his cupped hands, knowing it didn't matter, Yami could hear him perfectly well. He was hearing the thoughts, not the words. And probably the fear behind the thoughts, because a second later his ghost-like form was perched on the bed in front of Yugi, and translucent hands were reaching up to take Yugi's. They felt cool (as they always did) and oddly there and not-there at the same time. "Your mind expects to feel me," Yami'd said once, "and so the magic of the Puzzle fills in the illusion. I can touch you, but I cannot touch anything or anyone else, not unless I use your hands to do it. Just as I cannot be seen, or be heard by anyone else unless I speak directly to their minds, or use your voice."

Now those hands rested around his, and Yugi could feel some of the dream's panic ebbing away. He shut his eyes, trying to calm his breathing, a little embarrassed. He was 16 years old, after all, that was awfully old to be getting scared out of sleep by a nightmare.

//Nightmares come to us all, young one, and there's nothing to be ashamed of.//

Yugi looked up, curious. /You too? Do you dream? Do you have nightmares?/

Yami's eyes narrowed, and Yugi instantly regretted asking, but after a second the spirit nodded slowly. //Yes... I dream sometimes. And sometimes they aren't pleasant. Though they're more like daydreams than true dreams, since I don't truly sleep.//

/I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked you that./

//It doesn't matter. I'm not surprised you're having bad dreams. You're under a great deal of stress. Waiting for our unknown opponent's next move would be enough to set anyone's nerves on edge, let alone yours.//

/I'm not weak, honest, I--/

//Did I say you were? No. And you're not. What you are is sensitive, Yugi. Your heart is very open. You FEEL things more deeply than most people, and that can have negative as well as positive consequences.// One of Yami's hands drifted up to rest fingertips to the middle of Yugi's forehead, just where the 'third eye' would be, and the touch relaxed Yugi a bit more. //Believe me, though, it's better in the long run to care a bit too much than care a bit too little.//

/You really think so?/

//Your strength is in your caring. It gives you courage and insight far beyond your years. Now if it just gave you a bit more self-confidence, we'd have something.// Yami smiled a bit to take any sting off the last comment. He knew very well that Yugi often felt himself unequal to the tasks at hand. He also understood how much courage it really took for his younger half to overcome that sometimes.

In so many ways Yugi was young, much younger than he should be, more innocent than some would give him a right to be. That was one of the things Yami wondered about at times. How could anyone have lived in the world for 16 years and not lost some of that light? Almost, he mused to himself, almost as if something had refined Yugi down to the purest essence of his innocence, which could not be taken or tainted. And what does that say for me, I wonder, since I am like his shadow?


//Mm? Nothing. Only pondering something. Didn't you mean to talk to your grandfather about the puzzle?//

/Yeah, b-but I... well, I kind of forgot a little when I got home, and then after homework and cleaning up the apartment it was really too late./

//Perhaps now would be a good time. Yes, I know it's very early in the morning, but you're still too keyed up to get back to sleep. Don't tell me I'm wrong. I can feel it. If you're too tired in the morning for school I can always substitute for you, though frankly, if I have to sit through another one of those boring language lessons I may scream.// He watched, satisfied with the joke, as Yugi giggled at the idea of him standing up in the middle of class and letting out a scream. //Go on now. You can have a glass of milk while you talk to him.//

/That's a good idea./ Yugi let go and swung his feet off the bed, feeling for his slippers, then paused. /Yami?/


/...Thanks. You always seem to know how to make me feel better./

With a flash Yami vanished, leaving Yugi to make his way downstairs. "Grandpa?"

"Hm? Yugi? What're you doing up so late? Did I make too much noise down here?" Solomon Moto straightened, rubbing the small of his back a bit.

"No, Grandpa, I was already awake. I... I had a bad dream."

"Seems to me you've been having a few of those of late. I hear you sometimes after I've come up to bed."

"Gosh, I'm sorry! I didn't know I was--"

"No, no, grandson, it's all right. How about I fix us a couple of cups of warm milk and you can tell me about it. If you feel like talking about it that is."

"Well, not so much about the dream," Yugi said, padding after Grandpa into the small kitchen and finding a seat. "But there is something I wanted to ask you about."

"Ask away."

"Grandpa... where does the Millenium Puzzle come from? How did you get it? And why did you give it to me?"

For a moment the older man didn't respond, busying himself with setting out the cups and putting just a touch of nutmeg in each before he started the milk warming. Then he turned around, and Yugi's eyes widened. His grandfather normally looked fairly hale and hearty for a man of his years, but now there was a weight in his eyes that seemed to take some of the spirit out of them. "I was wondering when you might ask that," he said quietly, moving to the chair across from Yugi. "I knew someday it'd occur to you to ask." He sighed heavily. "I suppose I was sort of hoping you'd find the answers on your own."

"Then you DO know something. Please, Grandpa, anything you can tell me might help."

Soloman pinched the bridge of his nose lightly, shutting his eyes, and took a long breath. "I found it in Egypt, many years ago," he said. "On my last expedition with Professor Hawkins. I never told anyone about this, and neither did he. We both agreed the implication of our discovery was something the world just wasn't ready for.

"You see, Yugi, in our last expedition Arthur and I performed an excavation of a site we weren't sure we'd find anything at. A few words in some of the ancient texts we'd discovered... half guess, half luck, who knows. But we were sure we'd find something. However, the something we found was something we ourselves were barely prepared to accept."

"What was it, Grandpa?"

"An ancient tomb, Yugi. An ancient tomb, prepared for an ancient Pharoah... who was never laid to rest in his tomb. He vanished from the face of the earth. Perhaps they buried him in some other location, or perhaps his body was never recovered. But what we did find there was something that, quite frankly, terrified us." Soloman lowered his head. "In that ancient tomb, there were carved stone panels telling the story of that Pharoah's life, and how he led a desperate fight to drive back an evil force bent on destroying our world. A force that was released and harnessed by the Egyptians as part of a game. The Shadow Game."

Yugi jumped. "Sh-Shadow Game?!"

//Shadow Game?!?!// the silent voice within him echoed."Shush!" Yugi said aloud, then realized what he'd done. "Grandpa I didn't mean you--"

"No. I know." Soloman got up and turned off the stove, pouring the milk out and bringing it over. "You're talking to him. The spirit that resides in your Puzzle. Because it IS your Puzzle, Yugi. It was meant for you and you alone."

"H-how do you k-know-?"

"Well, I didn't know about the spirit until that man, Pegasus, took my soul and imprisoned it in one of his Shadow Cards. He took some enjoyment out of taunting us with his knowledge, and one of the things he told me was the reason for his tournament. It was all to draw you in and get hold of the Millenium Puzzle. Everyone else was just icing on the cake, so to speak." Taking a sip of milk, Yugi's grandfather pondered his next words. "He'd found the ancient tomb himself, it seems, or at least some of the writings from within it. He knew of the Puzzle's reputed powers... and he knew one thing more.

"There was an inscription on the pedestal where we found that Puzzle, Yugi; an inscription from the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. The inscription went in part... now let me think..." Soloman concentrated, then nodded. "It said, roughly translated, 'You shall not hold captive my soul. You will not hold imprisoned my spirit. The way is opened to my soul and my spirit.' However, the word used for 'spirit' could also be translated as 'shadow'."

"Shadow..." breathed Yugi.

//Shadow... Yugi, I--//

/Yeah, the word 'Yami' means 'darkness'.. or 'shadow'!/

"There was one other part to the inscription, but it was oddly changed from what was obviously the original inscription in the Book of the Dead. That's what puzzled Arthur and myself."

"Can you tell me what the whole thing said?"

"Well... after the part I just told you, about the soul and the shadow, the inscription went on to say, 'The way will be opened to the Road of Souls. That which is closed shall be opened. The soul awaits its heart, and the heart shall pass into the darkness.'"

"What has that got to do with me?!"

Soloman looked at his grandson, seeing how white he'd become, and wished desperately for a moment he'd never found the Puzzle. "Arthur and I were never able to assemble any portion of the Puzzle. Every time we tried, it would fall back apart again. No matter how carefully we watched it, the second we took our eyes off it, it would simply disassemble itself. As if it were waiting for one particular set of hands."

"Mine," Yugi said faintly, looking down at his hands. They were trembling. He laced them together, trying to stop shaking. How, how could they know, that was 5000 years ago, how could they know about me, what have I got to do with this?! "Grandpa..."

"Yugi, I... I'm sorry. As to why I gave you the Millenium Puzzle... I can't say. It's almost as if something told me to." Soloman reached out over the tabletop to take the small cold hands in his. "If I'd had any idea you could actually assemble it--"

"It's okay... Grandpa... I mean... if I hadn't had his help... Pegasus might still have your soul. I don't think I could've beaten him on my own. M-maybe there's no way I couldn't have kept from putting the Puzzle together. Maybe I would've found it myself one day if you hadn't given it to me." Yugi shut his eyes, tight, shivering. Please, I didn't ask for this, why does it have to be me? 'Pass into the darkness'.. does that mean I'm gonna--

Am I gonna die?

Or-- did it mean.. the Shadow Realms? Am I gonna be sent there again? Trapped there?

With a little cry Yugi jumped up from the table and ran upstairs, locking the door behind him, sliding down the wood to sit on the floor, tears starting to roll down his face. "No," he moaned, "no, please, I give up, I can't do this, please don't make me do any more..."

//Young one.//

/No, PLEASE no--/

//Yugi, look at me.//

Yugi shook his head, but all the same his gaze tracked up to the face so much like his own. Then he flung himself at Yami, arms around Yami's neck, and buried his face in the spirit's shoulder, sobbing.

Yami just put his arms around Yugi and let him cry himself out, not saying anything, not moving. When sobs had turned to hiccups, then sniffles, then silence, he quietly said, //Then we'll stop.//


//We'll stop. We'll leave the tournament. I won't compete any more.//

/Y-you can't do that! WE can't do that. What about what Ishizu said?!/

Yami's brows knit. //Ishizu can go drown herself in the Sacred River Nile for all I care. I will NOT see you reduced to this. Not after all you've done for me; not after all we've been through together. If I never find the secrets of my past, so be it.//

Yugi gulped. /But Yami--/

//No buts. Yugi, your friendship and well-being mean more to me than that. Can you find that so hard to accept?// Yami stood, lifting Yugi up in his arms and setting him on the bed, then sat down beside him. //You're too young to feel so alone, and you aren't alone any more. Tristan and Joey and Téa would tell you the same.//

/I know... I haven't forgotten them... Yami, that's why--/ Yugi scrubbed an arm over his face. /That's why we have to go on. Why I have to go on with you. Friends don't let friends down when they're in trouble, no matter what. You need me. I'm your hands, your eyes, how are you gonna duel if you can't use my body? And if you don't duel, it's not just that you don't find out who you are, who's gonna stop Malik? I, I don't care what's supposed to happen to me. I have to go on. I HAVE to./

//Yugi, I can't take that responsibility. I can't hold your life in my hands like that.//

/You already have, when we fought Pegasus. And, and before that, when my soul was in the Dark Magician card. Besides, it's not your responsibility, it's mine, I'm the one who's making the decision to go on, not you!/

Yami looked at Yugi a long time before he 'spoke' again. //Are you sure of this. ABSOLUTELY certain.//

/Yeah. I'm still scared. But I have to get past it. Like Mai told us. I have to face my fears. If I let what I THINK might happen keep me from doing something, I might never do ANYthing again./

//Then I will do my best. And I'll do my best to protect you and support you.//

/I know you will. I believe in you. Just-- just help me believe in myself and I'll be okay./


"You have found the boy." The voice was low, pleasant, but chilling all the same.

"Yes, Master. His full name is Yugi Moto. He won the Duelist Kingdom competition."

"Pegasus was a fool. Powerful, in some ways, but still a fool. Now listen. The boy bears a Millenium item. Within it is a spirit that assists the boy during his duels. The problem is not defeating Yugi Moto; the problem lies in defeating his spirit aide. Therefore you will find him, challenge him to a duel, and then you will use this item. Be sure that it is you and the boy alone, or as few of his friends as possible, in the area. No one else. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Master."

"When the item is activated, you will have to hurry. You will have only a few minutes to accomplish the second phase before the spirit realizes what's happened and takes action to counter it. And believe me, he CAN counter it. He is perhaps the ONLY one that can counter it. If you succeed, you will have only a short time to defeat him. Be sure that you stress that fact. You must put that limit on him in order to keep him from considering his strategies. If he is given enough time to think, he can easily win the duel. Don't forget what happened to the last of you that faced him."

As the Rare Hunter turned, Malik leaned back, fingers twirling the Millenium Rod idly. "Pharoah," he said softly, "before today is done, I will tear out your heart... and destroy it before your eyes."


The next morning Yugi was surprised to find himself still in bed at 10 AM. Oh no, did I sleep through the alarm? I'm late for school! Checking it, he realized the alarm had been switched off. /Yami-?/

//Not me. Your grandfather came in last night after you fell asleep. I think he wanted you to stay home today so that you could rest.//

/Oh./ With a little sigh Yugi got up, pulling on a set of sweatpants and a T-shirt, and sat back down on the bed, thumbing through his deck. I wonder if I can fine tune this a little... hm.... I'll need everything I can get. Those Rare Hunters are gonna be tough to beat, if they all have super rare cards in their hands. And I can't expect them all to be like the one that came after Joey. They're not going to make the same mistake twice. I can't afford to make any either. Hm. I've got Joey's Red-Eyes... maybe I should add a few cards to help that out. Have I got a Flute of Dragon Summoning...? Or a Lord of Dragons? And... I could add a Tri-Horned Dragon... Tucking his legs under him, Yugi settled down to his cards blissfully. It wasn't until his stomach started growling at him that he realized it was two hours later and he hadn't had lunch yet, let alone breakfast.

"Hey, Yuge! Ya up there?"

"Joey? Is that you?"

"Well it ain't the Easter Bunny, pal."

"Sure, I'm here! C'mon up."

A few seconds later Joey appeared, Téa and Tristan in tow. "Hiya buddy!"

"Hey what are you three doing here? Isn't this a school day?"

"Yeah, but we skipped out." Joey landed on the mattress, bouncing it up and down (and forcing Yugi to make a hasty grab as cards slid everywhere).

"Actually we got permission from the teacher to come and visit you," Téa corrected. "Your grandpa called the school this morning and said you were sick. We were worried about you."

"That's nice of you guys. Thanks. I'm okay, pretty much, I just had kind of a bad night." Boy that's an understatement. But it's no use me worrying them now, since it's all over. "I guess Grandpa thought maybe a day off would do me good."

"Sure thing, you've been pretty much on the go for weeks now.--Hey, is this a Gundam? This is a really nice paint job, Yugi." Tristan studied the model. "I didn't know you were into model making."

"It's kind of like a puzzle, though, isn't it? You have to fit the pieces together in the right way or it doesn't work."

"Never thought of it that way, but I see your point." Setting it carefully back on the shelf, Tristan turned to the other three. "As long as we've all got the day off, how about we head downtown and windowshop some? I'll treat everyone to lunch."

"Yeah, and maybe we'll run across another of those Hunter creeps," Joey added, smirking. "I could go for a little hard-hitting deck action. How about you, Yuge?"

"I was just working on my deck a little..." Yugi riffled through the cards hastily, checking them. "I think I've got everything I need. Let's go!" Pelting down the stairs, he called over into the shop, "Grandpa, we're going downtown for the afternoon, is that okay?"

"Yes, Yugi! Just be back in time for dinner. You're watching the shop for me tonight, remember."

"I won't forget! Bye!"

As soon as they got off the crosstown bus, Joey snapped his Duel Disk into place and started looking around hopefully. Téa just shook her head. "Men," she muttered to no one in particular. "Oh, wait, yeah, right. Yugi. What did your grandpa tell you about the... you know?"

"Not much," Yugi replied, trying to sound casual. After being the recipient of three sets of suspicious stares, he sighed. "Guess I can't fool you, huh?"

"Spill it, short stuff, or I'll put some N' Rage hair color in your shampoo and you'll have to come to school with bright GREEN hair for once."

"Okay, okay! Grandpa said he found the Puzzle in Egypt, in the... in the tomb of a Pharoah. He's had it for years, but neither he nor Professor Hawkins were ever able to put it together."

"That's it?"

"Well... there was this inscription..."

Téa pounced on that. "Inscription? What did it say?"

"I can't remember--"

//'You shall not hold captive my soul. You will not hold imprisoned my shadow. The way is opened to my soul and my shadow. The way will be opened to the Road of Souls. That which is closed shall be opened. The soul awaits its heart, and the heart shall pass into the darkness.'//

Yugi shivered. /Did you HAVE to say that?/

//They need to know, young one.//

Dutifully Yugi repeated the message. After a brief silence, Tristan muttered, "That doesn't sound friendly."

"So what's it supposed to mean, huh? Sounds like more of the same load of trash that Hunter was spoutin'." Joey shrugged. "Yuge, you haven't let it get ya spooked, have ya?"

"Joey, stop it," Téa said. "Listen, this is serious. I really don't like that part about 'darkness'."

"Neither do I," Tristan agreed, "especially not considering what Yugi said about the puzzle. WHY weren't they able to put it together, Yugi?"

"It, um.. it wouldn't let them. Grandpa said every time they tried, the pieces would disassemble themselves when they weren't watching."

"Now THAT'S creepy. Haunted puzzle pieces. Sheez." Joey shook his head.

"And yet it allowed you to put it together," Tristan mused, ignoring Joey.

"Yeah," Yugi admitted, hanging his head, feeling his stomach start to knot. Suddenly he didn't have any appetite at all. "Just like it was waiting for me, and only me, to try to assemble it."

Téa scowled. "Yugi, did your Grandpa mention anything about this 'Road of Souls' the inscription mentions?

"No, Téa. Why?"

"Because I did some reading up after we hit the museum. The Road of Souls was the path the ancient Egyptians believed their souls would follow after death, to get to Heaven. Or whatever they considered Heaven. That 'Book of the Dead' thing was kind of, of a road-map-- ritual instructions about what to say and do in order to make sure the soul reached the afterlife safely."

"Wait a second, wait a second here. Are you tryin' to tell us that you think because Yugi here opened that freakin' Puzzle, now he's gonna die or something? No way! We're not about to let that happen! We been through too much together to let some stupid curse or whatever get in the way. 'Specially not when it comes to Yugi, ya know?" Joey's eyes narrowed. "First guy lays a hand on Yuge gets his block knocked off."

"It's not that simple, Joey." Tristan leaned up against a tree, folding his arms. "That word, 'darkness', is too vague, considering what we already know. It could mean death, sure. It could also be a reference to the Shadow Realm. Which isn't exactly a better choice than dying, but..."

"Excuse me."

All four jumped a little at the unexpected voice. Turning, they saw a young man dressed in casual wear, a Battle Gear strapped to one wrist. He nodded politely and said, "Is one of you by any chance the winner of the Duelist Kingdom competition, Yugi Moto?"

"I am, " Yugi answered. "Can I help you?"

"My name is Owari. I was hoping I might ask you to a brief game. I don't expect I'll be in your league, but I'd love to say I had a battle with a champion, even if I lose."

"Um.. well, I'm really not in the mood right now--"

"Ah go on, Yuge, it'll help ya get your mind off stuff, whaddya say?" Joey jerked a thumb at Owari. "He seems like a nice enough guy."

"I.. guess... okay." Yugi felt a little better as he saw Owari's face brighten-- at least SOMEone would be having a good time during the duel. And Joey was right, if he was concentrating on the combat he wouldn't have time to worry. "Right here?"

"It is a little crowded, or it will be when the late lunch crowd starts to show up," Owari said. "Maybe.. er.. over there, in that little courtyard?"

"That looks fine. We ought to have plenty of room there, and we won't get in anyone's way." With a bow, Owari ushered the four others before him. He waited quietly while Téa, Joey and Tristan found a place to sit on a small stone bench, then extended his hand to Yugi, who reached out to take it--

Felt something hard and cold under his palm in the second before the sneer crossed Owari's face--

And then the world turned inside out, all the color fading from it, to be replaced by dark, swirling mists that were all too familiar. In the same instant the hard whatever it was in his hand suddenly caught fire, or seemed like it had, because a blaze of heat shot up his arm, making him cry out, reel backwards, and fall hard to the ground as he lost his balance. Dimly he heard the others shout something, and struggled to get his wits about him as the pain abruptly stopped. Something like fine black sand sifted through his fingers and fell to the ground. With a groan he tried to stand, his legs unexpectedly not wanting to work quite right; he felt so strange, off-kilter, clumsy, like something was missing.


That voice-!

Yugi looked up-- and found Yami looking down at him. Not the ghostly form he was accustomed to; this seemed solid, firm, REAL. He put out a hand towards the spirit, then yelped as he struck something unseen and unyielding in front of him. "What-?" he gasped. /Yami?!/

//Yugi?! But... how... can this be--// Yami reached forward, finding the same invisible wall between him and his partner. Whirling, he glared at Owari. "I want an explanation for this now," he growled, "or you will find me less than forgiving."

"It's very simple, great Pharoah," Owari said, bowing mockingly. "As you already have realized, we're in the Shadow Realms, where spirits such as yourself are as material as we who are still living. Our audience is simply... a captive one." He pointed over at Téa, Tristan and Joey, who were currently being held in their seats by shimmering bands of mist. "As for the boy, a simple ancient magic known as the Soul Jar. It traps wandering spirits and imprisons them in an inescapable crystal prison. Here, in the Shadow Realms, it can be used on living beings as well as on spirits. Alas, however, since the Soul Jar is completely without any openings, if a living person were trapped within, they would soon exhaust their supply of air... and suffocate."

Yami's eyes widened, then narrowed again even more. "Release Yugi," he ordered.

"I can't, mighty Pharoah. The Soul Jar is set to a specific phrase or event. In this case, the only way it will lose its magic and become normal glass again is if you defeat me in a duel. You have..." Owari pretended to consider. "I would say about... fifteen minutes before your young friend dies. I wouldn't waste any more time if I were you."

And the heart will pass into the darkness.

Yugi felt very very cold... but also strangely calm. Kneeling, he rested his palms on the invisible surface, looking out. /Yami, I'm all right for now. You can do it./

//Don't be afraid.// With an impatient flick of his wrist, Yami shuffled his deck, waiting for Owari to do the same. "If this is what must be.... Let's Duel!"

As the first cards hit the battlefield, Yugi pressed his forehead to the glass, trying to stay calm. The calmer he could stay, the longer he'd last and the less of a distraction he'd be. But was it already growing close in his invisible prison? I've gotta stay calm. I can't panic. Yami needs to concentrate. He hasn't got a whole lot of time. Every move's critical. We do good under pressure. He can keep his cool if I can just keep mine. I've gotta believe that the Heart of the Cards won't let us down. He swiped a hand over his forehead. No, it wasn't his imagination. It WAS getting harder to breathe already. He focussed instead on the duel, trying to let that distract him.

"I choose a Magic card. Book of the Secret Arts! And I play the monster Sorcerer of the Doomed, in attack mode. His attack is raised 300 points, as is his defense! With the Yami card on the field, that gives him a total attack of 1950."

"Hm, a considerable creature. But I think I have a solution for that. A simple card called the Trap Hole. If your creature's attack power is 1000 points or more, it is destroyed!"

"Which would have caused me a problem. Except for the card I set earlier and now reveal-- the Trap Master. His special power is to destroy any one trap on the field. Your Trap Hole is ITSELF destroyed. Now, Sorcerer, attack Owari's Phantom!"

"Way ta go Yuge! Uh... Yami.. uh... ahh whoever ya are! Kick his butt! --Jeez, I need a scorecard around here ta keep up with these guys." Joey squirmed around, craning his neck to see the duel better. The he caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye and turned to see Téa staring off to one side, at Yugi's kneeling form. "What's up Téa? You don't look so good."

"Guys, I don't like this. I think that creep was lying about how much air Yugi's got in there. I'm not sure Yami's got fifteen minutes to beat Owari." Téa bit her lip, squinting. "Tristan, can you see Yugi any better than I can?"

"Yeah, I can.. and I think you're right. He's breathing pretty hard in that thing. But I can't... get my arms free..." Tristan twisted this way and that. "It's no good. We're stuck here for the duration."

"Come on, Yami," Téa urged under her breath. 'Time's running out..."

Owari smiled mockingly. "By the way, noble Pharoah, I have to thank you for that Yami card you played. It grants a bonus to ALL Spellcasters, making my next choice of cards a simple one-- and an elegant move, considering it's one of your favorite creatures. I summon the Dark Magician, in attack mode!"

"Dark Magician?! Oh no!" Yami gritted his teeth. "The Yami card adds 200 points to any Spellcaster's attack AND defense. Which means--"

"My Dark Magician now has an attack strength of 2700, more than enough to overcome your Sorcerer of the Doomed." Owari shrugged elaborately as the Sorcerer vanished. "Now what do you say? Are you still so confident? Or are you beginning to feel the pressure?"

"That's what you think. I summon Gaia, the Fierce Knight!" Yami slammed the card down.

"Ha, do you think that will help you? His attack power still isn't enough to overcome my Magician."

"Perhaps not, unless I play this card. Reverse Trap! All increases and decreases to attack and defense are reversed for the turn during which this card is activated. Therefore your Dark Magician now has an attack power of only 2500, because he loses the 200 extra points. And to that I'll add Reinforcements, played on YOUR Magician. That would normally INCREASE his attack 500 points-- but with Reverse Trap on, it DEcreases the attack instead, dropping him to an attack power of only 2000." Yami paused, panting, finding himself forced to hold onto the edge of the dueling surface just to keep his balance. Wait-- why am I-- He whipped around to look over at Yugi. The younger boy was collapsed against the side of the glass, gasping shallowly, face pale and twisted in pain.

"Ah, did I say fifteen minutes of air? I seem to've miscalculated, Pharoah. It seems there was only about six or seven minutes at best in that cage." Owari flung back his head, laughing. "How does it feel to watch part of yourself dying? Can you feel his agonies?"

Yami didn't answer. He couldn't. His chest had seized shut, it seemed, all at once, clamped tight with iron bands, and no matter how much he struggled to take a breath there was nothing there to breathe. Behind the pain was fear and sorrow as the darkness closed in, his vision blurring at the edges, till all he could see


was the two figures at the gaming table and

(I'm sorry)

now even they were fading out

(...don't forget, I lo...)

"Guh-UHHH!" Yami reeled back, gasping deeply. Instantly he reached out with his mind. //YUGI-!//

Silence. The same silence that'd fallen when they fought Pegasus in the Shadow Realms, when Yugi'd collapsed from the strain of the game. The silence that meant death's approach.

"A present from my master, Malik, Pharoah," Owari said behind him. "A reminder of your past. The Egyptians believed that the soul had two parts, the Ba and the Ka. The Ba was regarded as the living spirit of the man, his spark of life, his feelings. You could therefore consider it his heart. The Ka was the mind of the man, his memories, and often depicted as a dark reverse image of a person. A shadow, you might say.

"When a man died, his Ka was drawn to the preserved body, or to a specially prepared statue, there to await the return of the Ba, which flew free at death to seek out its Ka and unite with it to form the Akh, the perfect soul. Where did YOUR Ka go when you died, Pharoah? Did it, perhaps, travel not into your body, nor into a statue, but into some other item? A Millenium Item, even? And what of your Ba? Unable to reach your Ka, did it wander down the centuries, always yearning for its missing half, until at last a small boy found the Puzzle which would open for his hands alone?"

"Oh.. my... God..." Téa choked. "Yami... and Yugi... are the same.. person..?!"

"Five thousand years," Owari mused, as if he hadn't even heard Téa. "Five thousand years, how many lives, growing up, growing old, dying, and being reborn? How many times did he wait in vain, always alone even in the midst of his friends, always feeling as if somewhere, something wanted him, needed him, that he could never find? And now what will you do, Pharoah? For when the Ba perishes, the Ka cannot survive long. Win or lose, this duel is mine. In a few moments the boy will be dead. Then you will blow away in the wind and the Millenium Puzzle will be Malik's."


Yami stood there, silent, fists loosely clenched as Joey raged. How simple it was. How much sense it made. And how well it explained this ragged hole, the pain inside him. All his innocence, his hope, his dreams, his laughter. His compassion, his faith, his wonder. The child within him... lost. Lost and wandering for all that time, while he lay all unknowing in the depths of the Puzzle. No wonder this fierce desire to pick Yugi up, sometimes, and simply hold him close, heart to heart, without words, without thoughts, simply the feelings of comforting and being comforted. No wonder the need to protect him, guide him, share even the smallest events of his day. Five thousand years had come and gone. How could one erase that in a single day? In a single lifetime? He didn't know. Perhaps it wasn't possible. But he would not let the chance to try slip through his fingers. He would not fail again.


The whole group froze at that. Slowly Yami raised his head, the Third Eye symbol on his forehead blazing only slightly less than the rage in his eyes. "You forget, Owari," he said. "This IS the Shadow Realm. Here, monsters and magic are real, and the damage done to your creatures... is done to YOU as well. And it's MY TURN."

"Wha--" Owari took a step back, face white as he realized his mistake. "No, wait, I--"

"Gaia, the Fierce Knight... ATTACK! DESTROY MY OPPONENT!"

The armor-clad figure instantly leapt forward, the hooves of his steed pounding over the Dark Magician in its path and shattering it, then plunging on towards Owari, lance leveled. The other young man fell, scrambling frantically backwards, babbling as the Knight swept towards him.

(No I can't! I can't take that chance!)

(Let me help you-!)

(How do I know I can trust you?)

(I promise to always listen to what you say. And to try to do things your way. Together we can do this.)

(Ok... I'm gonna trust you. Together.)


"Gaia STOP!"

The Knight halted, the warhorse beneath him rearing up and pawing the air with a shrill whinny. Yami thrust a finger at Owari. "Release the others, right now, and surrender the duel to me, or die."

"I, I," Owari stuttered.


"NO! Wait! I, I surrender! You win!"

There was a faint crystalline chime as the box around Yugi's body suddenly became visible, or at least more visible than it had been. It was barely taller than he would be standing, and just wide enough for him to've moved a step or two to left or right. The mists holding the other three vanished at the same time, and the trio jumped up, running over to the glass case as Yami joined them. "Seamless," he said, eyes studying the box intently. "There's no edge, no seal, nothing. Nothing!" One fist pounded on the slick surface. "It's too thick, but we've got to get in there now, NOW--"

"The bench!" Téa yelled. "We can use it to shatter the glass!"

"Come on, Joey, give me a hand!" Tristan ran over, getting his hands under one edge of the bench and heaving. "God, please, don't let this thing be-- Nnngh YES!" With a huge effort he raised the side. "Joey, GET IT TOGETHER! Yugi NEEDS us!"

"Whatta ya think I'm doin' over here, shuffling my DECK?" Joey's face went red as he struggled to lift his end. "*nnngh* I'm gonna have a hernia or somethin' after this, I know it. -Ok! I got it! Let's bust some glass!" As swiftly as they could, he and Tristan brought the bench over and swung a corner against the glass. On the third swing it shattered like a spiderweb, cracks running over half its surface. Heedless of any shards, Yami slammed a shoulder at it, breaking out a large enough portion to let him reach in and haul out the small, still form inside, cradling it to him.

"He's not breathing," Téa said anxiously, "we have to--" she stopped as Yami took a deep breath, then closed his mouth over Yugi's, exhaling gently. The others fell silent as he did it again, and a third time, pausing to watch the boy's features a second before resuming the cycle.

"C'mon, Yuge, c'mon c'mon c'mon, you can't be dead, we got a whole lot of duels left in us, you an' me," Joey whispered, fists clenched so hard the knuckles were white.

"Yugi..." Téa swept back her hair with a trembling hand, fighting back a sob. "You've got to come back, we all need you so much. You taught us what being friends really meant. You can't.. j-just.. leave-!"

"Yugi... you never let us down before..." Tristan murmured. "You've never turned down a fight. You can't give up now."

//Young one. Please. Breathe. One breath. The first is the hardest, I know, but the rest will follow, one breath, just one--//

A little choked noise as Yugi jerked, then another, then a third, deeper, that turned into a gasp and a cough, then settled down into soft panting. Slowly his eyes fluttered open, dazed at first, then settling on Yami's face with wondering delight.. "Ya-" he started, in a hoarse voice.

"No, no. Be still. Don't try to talk. Save your strength." Yami's arms pulled the small frame closer, one cheek resting on Yugi's forehead. He wasn't particularly astounded to find himself shaking. But when a small warm hand brushed his cheek the fact that he was crying was a definite surprise. "Forgive me," he whispered.

/Yami... don't... don't cry... I'm all right... my throat just hurts a little... see, I'm okay... please don't cry. I'm alive./

//If I don't weep my heart will crack. I know you. I know who you are now. I know what we are to each other. I'm not the one who's been waiting five thousand years to be found; you are.//

/I don't.. understand.../

//I'll explain it all later.//

/Ok... -!! Téa! Joey, Tristan! Are they-?/

//See for yourself.// Yami straightened, letting Yugi see the others gathered close, their faces lighting up as they met his gaze. He held out a hand; it was taken instantly by Joey, and Tristan and Téa laid theirs over the other two. "Man, Yuge," Joey said, his own voice suspiciously choked, "ya gotta stop doin' this. I mean, guys aren't s'posed to, ya know, get all mushy and..."

"It's okay, Joey," Yugi managed to say, "I missed you too."

"JeeEEEEzzz... " Joey swiped his eyes. "Now look what ya made me do. I'ma never live this down."

Téa didn't even try to stop crying. "Yugi, you scared us half to death. Don't ever.. don't ever..."

"M' sorry.. Téa.... I didn't mean to--" Yugi coughed again, then looked up at Yami. /Tell them for me? It hurts to talk./

//Of course.// "Yugi wants me to tell you he's sorry he worried you. His throat hurts too much to talk right now, but he's glad you were here for him. For US. And speaking of who ELSE was here..." Yami's gaze flickered over to where Owari was still being held at lancepoint by Gaia. "You," he said, softly, voice as cold as razored steel. "What shall I do with you."

/Yami, don't--/

//No, young one. I've already spared his life once for you. I don't intend to take it now.//

/For.. me?/

//I promised you once that I'd always listen to you, and let your wishes guide me. My reward for that was your faith and your trust. I have no intention of ever losing that, for any reason, for anyone. And I didn't think you would want me to kill him.//

The boy smiled a little and nestled his head into Yami's shoulder. /Thanks.../

Standing, Yami turned, Yugi still in his arms, and considered Owari. "I can't think of a more fitting punishment than to let you go, unharmed," he said at last. "Your 'master' will reward you for your failure in a much more satisfying manner, I expect, than I could ever dream of. And I will not have to deal with you myself, nor will my friends have to watch. Find a hole to crawl into and hide, if you think you can. --Gaia. See to it we are not disturbed until we have left. Then you are dismissed, with my thanks."

Gaia lifted a lance in salute, then put himself and his horse between Owari and the group, his whole attitude saying 'disturb them and be skewered'.

"That's Gaia?" Téa murmured as they walked away, looking back over her shoulder. "The REAL Gaia?"

"Of course, Téa. The beings of the Shadow Games live here, in the Shadow Realm. That's one of the reasons why this place is so dangerous." Yami glanced down at Yugi. "And before you ask: no. I am not putting you down until I have to. You can insist you're able to walk as much as you like. It won't make any difference."

"I'm not trying to sound like a wet blanket or anything," Tristan said, "but how are we getting home?"

"Through here." Yami stopped at the edge of a corridor that gradually brightened as it stretched in front of them till at the very end they could see what looked like an empty door-frame, outside of which was the courtyard they'd come from. "Joey, take Yugi."

"Huh? Aren't you comin' out with us? And, uh... what th' heck do I call ya anyway?"

"Yes, I am, Joey. But once I emerge from the Shadow Realm I'll no longer have a solid body. Although I CAN carry Yugi in my spirit form, I think it would be a bit too much attention if people saw him floating down the street with no visible means of support. As for my name, if you feel more comfortable with it, you can call me 'Yugi' rather than 'Yami'. My name was Yugi also, once... Yugioh."

"King Yugi, eh? *heh* I'm easy with it. But I dunno, I bet we could make some good money off a levitatin' kid."

The next second Joey was picking himself off the floor, rubbing a new bump on his head. "OW! Whaddya do that for?"

"Sorry," Tristan replied, shrugging, "just trying to knock that chump out of your head. Guess I missed."

"Thaaaaaaaaaaaaat's it, those're fighting words. I'm gonna kick you from here to the city limits... uh, soon's as we get Yuge here home," Joey added as Yugi was deposited in his arms. "Let's blow this pop stand, huh?"


//...So there it is. If Owari's words were true-- and I don't have any reason to believe he was lying-- then you and I were meant to find each other, be together. We are two halves of a single whole, two parts of one person.//

/Puzzle pieces./

//Excuse me?//

/Puzzle pieces./ Yugi leaned over and rummaged around under his bed until he found a box with some jigsaw puzzle pieces in it, chose two, held them up. /See? Each piece is one piece to itself, right? But they don't make any sense. It isn't till you put them together that it starts to form a pattern. What you're saying is that we're kind of like the Millenium Puzzle itself./

//...I hadn't thought of that. But you're right. That still doesn't answer the real question I suppose.//

/What question's that?/

Yami stared out the window, not sure where to begin. At last he 'said', //You, Yugi. How do you feel about this? After all, I'm almost as much of a stranger to myself as I am to you. The idea that you're part of me... my light, the joy and imagination and living heart of me...//

/Um.. Yami...Do you know why I put the Puzzle together in the first place?/

//You wanted a friend. And you had the idea that putting the puzzle together would grant you a wish.//

/Well, it did, kind of. And I'm glad it did. It's great having Téa and Joey and Tris and Bakura and all my other friends. They're the best. But... Yami... the puzzle really brought me YOU. And.../ Yugi twisted an edge of the sheet in his fingers nervously. /What I really wanted wasn't just a friend-- . it was someone special to share things with. The things I laugh about, the things I cry about, the things that matter to me. Someone that I could tell my dreams to, or be scared around,or just BE with. Someone to look up to, and, and make proud, like... like a brother./ He looked up, searching the spirit's eyes with his own. /I'm not alone in HERE any more,/ he added, touching his chest. /I don't know how else to say it, but that's the way it feels. I'm not alone in here any more. And I don't ever want you to go away./

Yami's expression softened. //Young one...// Reaching over, he hauled Yugi into his lap. //Little brother of my soul.//

/Yes, PLEASE--/ Yugi wrapped his arms around Yami's ribs and nestled in. /Yes please./

//Forever, then, shall we say, little brother?//


My heart is with me, and it shall never come to pass that it be carried away... [I am] in the Dweller in the body. I have life by my word, my heart hath being.

--portion of the "Egyptian Book of the Dead"