Chapter Twenty-Seven: Forever Loving You
It is done.
Thank you all so much for standing by me for this long! I couldn't have kept writing it without you, honestly. Thanks to all of you! Happy holidays! I hope that you will keep smiling always. ::nods::
I almost started crying while I was writing this chapter. ^^;; I'm so soft.
But this doesn't mean I've stopped writing Jou/Seto, far from it…
And who knows? Maybe I'll write a Part Three someday.
Hugs and cookies.
"Yami…" whispered Yugi.
"What's wrong, Aibou?" came the quiet reply. Yami's image took shape in a shimmer of light. Tearstains glittered on his unreal cheeks.
Yugi threw his arms around Yami, sobbing. "Don't do that ever again! Please! I didn't know that you liked Anzu, I really-"
"I don't feel that way for Anzu. You can stop worrying about that, all right?"
Yugi blinked. "You… don't?"
"No," said Yami. He took Yugi's shoulders and looked him solemnly in the eyes. "I will tell you everything, I promise, but right now I don't want you to miss Anzu's flight."
Yugi's eyes widened. "Shoot!"
"You promised," said Yugi stubbornly. "Don't you remember?"
"I remember, Yugi," sighed Yami. But I don't want you to be upset.
I also remember the feeling of loneliness…
Yugi stepped closer to Yami, glaring good-naturedly into the spirit's crimson eyes – not realizing the turmoil this caused inside of his other half. "You wouldn't break a promise, would you?"
"No…" said Yami reluctantly. He feared that his voice would betray him; no, it held still.
"Exactly." Yugi crossed his arms. "So tell me! You told me that you would tell me everything!"
Where to begin? How much to tell?
I must keep my promise.
"Yugi, I said before that I don't feel…" He searched his mind for words to express himself. "I don't feel that way towards Anzu."
Yugi blinked. "You were lying?"
"No! No, I wasn't lying." Yami sighed again.
Yugi watched him carefully. Yami seemed to be slowly gathering something into himself. Courage? Strength? For what? Why do you pause?
I need to tell you, Yugi, came his wordless reply. I need to find a way to tell you.
Tell me what?
Yami finally opened his eyes, looking directly into Yugi's. How strange, he thought in the moment before he spoke, before he sealed the moment when their lives would drift – to each other? or away? He couldn't know – how strange, he thought, that their eyes were so different. Yugi's were rounder, more innocent somehow even though Yami shared the boy's knowledge of the world and even his body. The amethyst eyes were calmer… less demanding… accepting. Yami knew that his own eyes were quite the opposite, and marveled, in that one moment, upon the fact.
He didn't know that, in that moment, Yugi's thoughts were the same…
He spoke, and the voice seemed not to be his own as it came forth almost against his will. Rather like the feeling he had when Yugi was in control and speaking, moving. Why were his thoughts traveling so? He was afraid to see the world plainly.
He spoke, and Yugi's innocent amethyst eyes that he had longed to protect widened. He could see emotions beginning to conflict and collide within them, and he knew he had changed the boy somehow.
But for better or worse? What would result?
Would he be alone again?
He spoke the words and didn't want to hear the answer that would come.
"Yugi… the one I love is you." His voice dropped to a whisper as he choked on his words. "I'm sorry."
"Have you made a decision?"
"College," said Seto. "What are you going to do with your life?"
"Be with you forever," mumbled Jonouchi, snuggling into Seto's side.
Seto smiled tenderly before shoving Jonouchi away. "It's not naptime yet, pup."
"Aww!" protested Jonouchi.
"You have to answer."
"Well, uh…" said Jonouchi. "To tell the truth…"
"To tell the truth, I actually have been thinking about it," said Jonouchi.
"I suppose that's good," said Seto annoyedly. "But what have you been thinking?"
Jonouchi gulped, and he spoke almost too quickly for Seto to comprehend. "Well actually I've been thinking that I might want to go to America because I-"
"Hold it!" said Seto. "Slow down, pup."
Jonouchi took a deep breath. "Um, I've been thinking that I'd like to go to an American college. I know the language well enough to get around, I think, and it would help me learn…"
"But you can take English courses here, can't you?" said Seto confusedly.
"Yeah…that's not the only reason, though. I want to get out, explore, be on my own for a while. There are some courses that they offer there that interest me…" Jou trailed off. Seto's eyes were hurt. He really didn't understand. "It's not that I don't want to be with you, just… well…"
"What are you going to do with your life?" repeated Seto quietly.
"Um, maybe write, be a photographer… I don't know yet. And that's why I want to go."
"Why does it have to be there?"
"This is going to sound really stupid," warned Jou.
Seto smiled slightly. "I think I've made myself immune to your stupid statements by now, Katsuya."
He laughed. "Good one. I, uh, want to know that I'm not… well, not entirely dependent on you, you know? I want to go, and make a good person of myself, and come back knowing that… I'm worthy of you."
Knowing that I'm smart enough not to be just dead weight by your side, that I can make you smile even brighter…
Kaiba's smile was sad. "I understand. You know, though, that I will think the highest of you no matter what?"
And I of you.
That's why I have to go.
"Yeah. But I want to be worth those thoughts. And when I come back… I'll be older… so can we…?"
It took him a moment to comprehend – so unlike the Kaiba of months past! – but he did, and ruffled Jou's hair. "I love you, Katsuya."
"I love you too," said Jou, leaning against Seto again. This time, he wasn't pushed away.
They didn't notice the small, silvery creature that was standing against the door.
"Katsuya never told me that," said Shizuka in surprise, watching the video feed.
"Well, Seto seems to be taking it well, doesn't he?" said Mokuba with a laugh.
returned his laugh. "Oh, yes!"
"Wow. I didn't know you could kiss like that…"
"I wonder if it's actually comfortable?"
"Not to mention the whole breathing thing."
"Eww, you're right! How do they…?"
Shizuka's question was answered when the two blurry figures pushed away from each other, gasping loudly. She and Mokuba burst into a giggling fit.
"And they're back at it!"
They leaned towards the screen.
Then the brown-haired figure, upon breaking away next, looked around the room.
It gave a loud curse, getting off of the couch.
And the screen became static.
"I'll miss you," said Seto. He hugged Jonouchi tightly, and the group whistled.
Honda grinned. "Say hi to Anzu for me if you get the chance."
"Did you pack your toothbrush? Hairbrush? Underw-"
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Jonouchi cut Shizuka off quickly. He gave her a hug. "Don't worry, I'll stay in touch."
"You'd better!" said Yugi. He smiled lightly. It seemed as though the boy had changed over the past few weeks, somehow – become more serious? quiet? – but not too much. Jou wasn't worried. He figured Yugi was just growing up or whatever. Heh. Maybe he would get taller.
"We're going to be visiting every chance we get, so you'd better not mess around!" piped Mokuba heartedly.
"Who, me?" said Jonouchi. They all laughed.
"Hey, you okay, Kaiba?" said Otogi, looking at the brunette in concern.
"I'm fine," said Seto. A tear had slipped unbidden down his cheek. "Just fine."
Jonouchi turned to hug Kaiba again, and neither seemed willing to let go. Then Jonouchi remembered something.
Seto sighed as Jonouchi started rummaging through his pockets. Jou produced a folded sheet of paper, and handed it to him.
"What is…?" said Seto, unfolding the sheet of paper.
"Not now!" said Jou. He blushed. "When I'm gone, okay?"
Seto folded it back and put it in his own pocket. "All right."
"Now, Honda," said Jonouchi in a businesslike manner, "I'm trusting you to keep everyone from going crazy while I'm gone."
"Oh, great," mumbled Otogi. "You're trusting him? Domino will have burned down within the week."
Honda gave him a look, and Otogi grinned, squeezing his hand. "What? I didn't say anything!"
Jonouchi sighed. "I'd better get on the plane. I hope there are some good movies showing."
"Good luck, Jou," said Seto. "You know that if you need anything…"
"I know." He turned, walking away.
He looked back.
Seto nodded. "Go."
Jou found his courage and continued.
He didn't look back again.
Alone again, Seto slowly unfolded the paper.
He read it, and then read it again.
Through the tears…
--Now that you've smiled
Softly you speak
Treading on this sacred ground
We are both new here
But we will find the way
We can guide each other through
And when you stumble
I shall catch you
When the light burns out
I shall hold you
And tell you all the things
That I know you need to hear
And we won't fear
This new place
For it is of our own creation
The bridge between our hearts
We shall not feel sorrow
We shall not be separated
And the flame shall forever flicker
The light will not falter
Yet I shall still hold you
For now that you've smiled
I shall never let you go
I shall do all I can
To cause you to smile again
Forever by your side
Forever loving you…
The pen stopped moving across the page. He put it down and closed the small, blue-and-white book – the book of his heart – softly.
He brushed a stray strand of brown hair away from his face and placed the book upon his shelf. A faint scent drifted through the window. Apples? Jonouchi would be craving pie; he knew it.
Through his tears, he smiled.
"Mokuba? Let's play!"
"Yay! You're the best!"
The journal you gave me, so long ago…
It's full, love.
But our life together will begin…