Through the Mirror - Chapter Eleven

Hello, again!

Next chapter, new sappiness. Sorry for the delay. Writer's block is evil! And it was ONE little sentence responsible for it! ONE! Now I deleted it and began anew. Enjoy! Review Replies are at the end of the chapter again.

Ahem, one more thing: Yeah, they are talking very much this time. As always in this story, I think. Is that a good thing or not? I'm not sure. Please, tell me!

---

---Would you... hug me again?---

Yugi merely stared for a moment, surprised. He hadn't expected that question. Yami wanted him to... hug him?

"Of course, if you really want to." Yugi smiled warmly at Yami's genuine joy, closing the small distance between them to grant him his wish. As soon as his hands came to lay on his back though, the other teen returned the hug, this time much more fiercely, more power lying behind his actions. Yugi bit back an embarrassing squeal as he was pressed against the other and blinked at Yami's hair confusedly, which tickled his cheek lightly.

"Um... Yami?", he asked, patting the boy's back carefully. "Please stop that, okay? It's gonna be alright. I'll ask grandpa, I'm sure he knows what to do."

For a moment Yami didn't answer, then an audible sigh ghosted over Yugi's neck, making him shiver. ---I hope so. You know that I still won't leave you here like that. If your grandpa doesn't know what to do, either, I'll find another way to keep you by my side. Even if every way we see is a wrong one, there has to be a hidden path somewhere, leading us to a future together. There has to be a path in the darkness wide enough for the two of us to walk upon side by side.---

'Side by side.' Yugi looked down on Yami's shoulder, on which his chin rested. What did that mean exactly? Side by side... like equals?

---Like equals.--- Yami agreed. ---Like brothers, like lovers, like twins and gods we will be. Even closer than that. Like one soul, one being flowing into the other.---

"I... I..." Yugi swallowed thickly, uncertainly. "I don't understand." A sad sigh. "One moment you want to overpower me, the next you try to make us equal. I don't know what to think anymore."

---I see.--- The pharaoh fell silent for a moment. ---You really don't.---

"Yami?" Confusion – an emotion they both had often felt in their attempts to understand the other – shone brightly in Yugi's eyes.

---You really don't understand that I'm not the one having control over you, do you? You are the one overpowering me.--- Yami paused, shifting his weight, his hands not moving on Yugi's back, stiff and uncomfortable, his mental voice hesitating, admitting to something he seemed to have just recently realised himself. ---I rely on solely your decision, because we're here, here at this place where I have no power. A place where I am a stranger, where I am so small. All I have left is my physical control over the situation. All I have is the capability to direct your steps up to some point at which it would break to pieces and set you free to leave me alone, crush our delicate trust with the sharp edges. I want us to be equal, I want this kind of pressuring dependence to end, want to be a good person in your eyes, not some stranger abducting you, not someone overpowering you and not someone overpowered by you.---

"What control would I ever have?!" Slight sarcasm had made Yugi's voice drop to a deep murmur, growing to anger while he spoke. "I say 'no' and you say 'whatever' and do what you want in the end. I cry and yell at you not to hurt me and you say 'sorry' and do it all the same. I beg you to let me decide for myself if I want to go with you or not. And you? You say you would love to let me decide but couldn't, because you already know I would decide against your will. Is that the kind of equality you were talking about? Me being equal as long as I do exactly what you want? As long as my decisions go along with your demands?"

---You're being bitter.--- Yami's hands fisted in the soft material of his shirt, his facial expression sad and somehow rueful. But Yugi was to angry to let himself stop now. Or to let himself think about what he saw in Yami's eyes.

"Oh, am I?" Irony dripped from his voice, just barely controlled fury breaking lose again. He leant back in Yami's arms, looking him directly in the eye, amethyst burning into ruby. "Stop being so selfish already," he seethed. "I'm getting sick of it! It's always about you having no control, about you being in pain because you don't know what to do and it is always about you feeling lost and helpless because everything you do seems wrong! But it's not just about you and your responsibility! It's not your decision and it's not mine, it's ours, a decision only two can make if they want to be equal. So don't tell me not to be bitter! It's your concept that contradicts your actions all the time! You tell me the right thing and do the wrong! It hurts me all the time and you are too dense to even see what you are doing! Could you start thinking for once?!"

Yugi had gripped Yami's arms, now almost yelling at him. Yami was pale, his face a dusty colour, dark wide eyes a sharp contrast to the ashen skin. Like deep red pools on white sand. Like blood dripping onto tainted velvet. Silence fell onto the two of them, stuffing the atmosphere with invisible cotton wool, making it difficult to breathe, the wool getting stuck in his throat, burning in his eyes. Yet Yugi could easily see through it. He wasn't allowed to not see the pain edging in on Yami's features. Pain without tears. Pain without anger. It was just pain. Pain caused by him, by his own words, by his own selfishness. A selfishness he had blamed Yami for and felt himself. He forced himself not to avoid his gaze, not to look away, so Yami could see how ashamed he felt. That he wanted to take the mean words back.

---No, you're right.--- Yami was the first to lower his eyes, to break the contact between them by slowly stepping back from him, his hands lingering on Yugi's sides only for a few seconds longer than necessary. ---I am selfish. I always am. Always have been.---

"Why are we hurting each other all the time?" Yugi wanted to cry, wanted to run and hide, at the same time solve this problem for now and forever. "Not you alone are the one being selfish, I am... I am, as well. We both are, because we both... we both are so different and want the same, but in different ways. We both are too complicated, we both are too stubborn, we both have too much at stake. We both can't lose what we love."

---And the situation requires a loss, whatever we do.--- Yami kept his eyes lowered, their colour dull, unfocused as if he suddenly was far, far away. ---We always lose something and that's a thing we can't control. And it gives us a reason to be selfish. You learned to suppress that urge... But I am different. I always used to just get what I wanted, never even thinking about it. I didn't need a special reason. I once wanted a ride on a horse, at the young age of four years. Horses were not easily available in Egypt, only the foreigners owned them. But I wanted one and I got one. The horse threw me off its back, though, and my cousin almost had been killed under its hoofs. That's what my selfish behaviour caused. And I thought I had learned from it. Now I realise how wrong I have been. Nothing has changed. Nothing! I am as selfish as ever and hurt others in the process. You're so right. I know I should stop acting my feelings out like that. I should stop being that little four-year old child demanding to have a horse ten times bigger than it is itself. I should stop being so selfish and demand your heart and soul.--- He pressed his eyes close for a moment, shakings his head, then abruptly looked up, sorrow surfacing in his eyes. ---But it hurts to just let go. It hurts to let go because I already gave everything to you. My heart, my soul... they are yours since I first saw you and I am just so selfish as to demand yours in return. Because if I don't, I'll lose myself.---

"Yami... how...?" Yugi began, but Yami overrode his words with his own, even though his voice was much more quiet now. The boy seemed to talk more to himself than to Yugi as if figuring out something just now.

---The fear of great loss makes people selfish. Imagine what a person could give away if their life is at stake. Or their love. But I am not supposed to be selfish, because I am the pharaoh. I am Ra's child, how could I be so full of frailty?!---

"You are a human being still." Yugi said under his breath. Weren't it for Yami to read his thoughts, he would have missed the words.

---I'm not a mere human being.--- Yami narrowed his eyes to slits. ---The pharaoh is chosen by the gods. He is godly himself. That's how life is. Either the gods favour you or they damn you. And if you don't show them respect and their worth to you, they will send all waters to flood your land or they will let the sun burn everything away.---

"I never showed any of your gods this kind of respect." Yugi murmured, looking at the other boy with deep sincerity. "I don't know your gods that much. I only know what grandpa told me."

---What?--- Shock flashed across Yami's features, his eyes fixated on him unbelievingly. ---You can't tell me you don't worship the holy gods.---

"We have others gods than you. We have only one god."

---Only... one?!--- The pharaoh stared at him, aghast.

"Yes." Yugi nodded. "We build houses for our god like you do for your gods. People believing in him visit him there and show him what he is worth to them, they sing and pray."

---I see.--- A bit flabbergasted Yami lowered his head, seemingly growing wary of his surroundings now. ---Your world is so different to mine. I thought... I always was sure at least the gods were everywhere. Now I hear from you that there is another god. And where are mine to protect me...?---

With a sigh Yugi stepped back close to Yami and hugged him gently, feeling a slight shiver run through him. "I never said your gods are not here." He tried to sound reassuring, made his voice calm and matter-of-fact. "Of course they are around you. Our god is the same as yours. We just define him differently. We see our god, we have angels, who are helping him... But our god is also Ra and Hathor and Bastet. We see only one god, where you see many. You worship all of them."

---My gods aren't the same as your god.--- Yami whispered. ---That would make them fake. Stop telling me something like that. It's not true.---

They fell silent again, Yugi trying to comfort the other boy, who seemed to be lost somehow. His gods seemed to be important to him. They promised him safety. Now he thought they weren't there at all to protect him. Suddenly he was pulled closer to the other body, cradled like a helpless child would cradle a cuddly toy in the dark of the night, fearing the shadows at the walls, thinking of them as demons. And no one could chase away Yami's demons now, because Yugi was no god. He was merely a boy, just as helpless as the cuddly toy, the child would embrace to not feel as alone. Without the light it felt lost. And without his gods Yami felt just as lost, having no security, no wall against all the strange unknown things in this twisted world of bureaucracy and – obviously in his eyes – wrong rights. While standing here in the kitchen, a completely new place to Yami, surely smelling weird, unfamiliarity pouring out of every edge and corner, raining down on his every senses, Yugi realised what it had to be like for him to be here, so many foreign devices, electricity, all that modern stuff. Suddenly he heard all those noises he was so used to. The clock, ticking quietly, the wheezing of the cooker hood, the faint growling of the freezer, a dog barking outside, a car hooting, shuffling from the game shop, a neighbour yelling, the radio from the living room... He would have panicked were he to be Yami. Involuntarily he held on tighter to the other boy. He felt like an ignorant brat, not once having thought about that before much. How did Yami cope with all that? Didn't he feel lonely? Wasn't he afraid?

"Your gods are with you, Yami." Yugi whispered into Yami's ear, feeling how alert he was, how distrusting. He never had met someone who depended on their religion that much. Yami trusted his gods with his heart, had felt secure with the knowledge that they were around all the time.

---How would you know they are here?--- Yami winced weakly into his shoulder, gripping him tightly. The child in the dark room, fearing the demons, mere shadows at the wall. Only light could chase them away. Light... Yugi gasped. He had an idea.

"Yami?" He asked carefully, slipping out of the role of the comforting cuddly toy, gripping Yamis hand and pulling it from his back. "I want to show you something."

He lead the fearful Yami out of the kitchen and into his room, walking over to a bookcase, pushing some of the books out of the way on his search for something long forgotten. The other watched him curiously, but still quite pale, one hand keeping Yugi's left one in an inseparable grip.

"Ah, here it is!" Yugi pulled out a statue, of a man... a man, having the head of a jackal.

---Anubis...--- Yami's hand automatically reached out, snatching the little statue away from the smaller teen. ---How did he get here?---

"Your gods are around you, Yami." Yugi chose not to directly answer Yami's question, Egypt existing here as well. It gave him a feeling of anxiousness whenever he thought about it. Other dimensions... he shuddered. Yami could always decide he wanted to abduct him again. Better not to talk more about Egypt than necessary.

---That's... that's...--- Suddenly and very unexpected for Yugi the created bond between them was wide open. He almost collapsed to the floor as a wave of relief, happiness, joy and many undefinable emotions crashed down on him. So many thoughts, so many questions, fears, overwhelming him. He was pulled into them, saw them all. He could see deeply into the other. Into his heart. Through the haze of their mingled minds, he noticed how Yami flung his arms around him, the small statue still in his one hand, and swung him through the air, laughing freely, his voice, which he had heard so rarely until now, resounding in his ears. Such a deep, soft voice, yet it had the casual edge of fierceness his whole being was known for. But it sounded so right. So right. He delved deeply into the sensation of feeling the other soul so near. He could feel thoughts slip through his mental fingers, thoughts about Egypt, his home, about him, a need greater than anything.

---Yugi?---

He couldn't listen to the voice now. He concentrated on the thoughts Yami had ceased to shield from him, closed his eyes to get nearer, to get a better picture of them. Before his mental sight light flashed, a ball of energy, surrounded by all those thoughts Yami had – now confusion and worry, still a bit happiness. Yugi moved forward, almost touching those thoughts, almost feeling them tickle on his skin. He listened to their murmur, smiling at the warmth he received from them.

'beautiful'

A word, clear as water before his eyes. Yugi blinked. It had been directed at him.

'Open your eyes. I want to see them.'

---Aibou? Hey, Yugi?!---

More worry. Yugi looked at the thoughts, reached out for another one, intent on finding out why Yami felt that way all of the sudden.

'Why doesn't he react?'

Yugi was confused. He crept nearer to the light and the thoughts. What was that light? It was so bright and he couldn't understand what it was. But it was the source of the immense warmth... He reached out to touch it, wanted to feel its texture. It looked to pure, so unreal. So unearthly. His fingers hovered over it, almost reaching their destination...

---Don't!! Don't touch!!--- Suddenly pain shot like electric poison through his veins and he was thrown back, out of Yami's world of thoughts, out of his dreamlike state. The last glimpse he got of the other mind was the realisation of something unknown to him and deep fear of it. Pure shock.

He opened his eyes, gaping, panting for air, finding himself propped up on Yami's chest. He tried to get his vision to clear up, rubbed at his eyes confusedly. What had happened?

---Yugi? Did I hurt you?---

"Hurt?" he mumbled incoherently, his body feeling like frozen. He ignored the weakening tingle in his limbs and swayed a bit as he moved a few steps away from the other. Yami's eyes were full of concern as he glanced up at him.

"'m 'kay." Yugi said, his tongue not quite allowing him to talk properly. It gave him the expression of it being bigger than usual, swollen.

He swallowed, looking at Yami questioningly. What had happened? He knew Yami could read the question in his eyes and mind.

---I... well, I opened the link between our minds.--- The pharaoh shrugged helplessly. ---I wasn't aware of doing it, I forgot to hold the block up.---

Why would Yami want to block him?

Yugi frowned, but just tilted his head to the side to give Yami a sign to continue. He still felt like standing under electricity, his whole body numb and beyond his complete control. He didn't trust his tongue to move the way he wanted. Staying on his two feet alone was impossibly complicated, his legs wanting to give in under him. He stayed where he was stubbornly, though, despite them shaking and giving his weakness away.

---I have to block you.--- Yami didn't look away, spoke to him with his typical sincerity. ---If I don't you could put yourself and me in great danger. A soul is fragile. It breaks. Or it consumes. You can't touch it. You can't even see what it really is, because your mind can't grasp it. Your mind can never show you what a soul is. It's too much to have a thing such simple as an appearance. Never touch my soul, you hear me? Never touch it! Or else we both get killed.---

Yugi now didn't frown anymore, but looked to the floor guiltily. The light had been Yami's soul? He bit his lower lip.

He had been near Yami's soul. Had almost touched it. On the one hand he was proud of being able to get that close to the other, of having the ability to do that, granted by Yami himself, even if he wasn't trusted to be let in freely yet. On the other hand... he had done something very, very dangerous. And he wasn't going to do that ever again.

"'m sorry." He said, truly meaning the words.

Yami smiled at him warmly.

The bitter taste of Yami's distrust in him was the only thing keeping Yugi from smiling back.

---

To Be Continued...

That's it for now. I'm tired, because I have been awake until 6 a.m. in the morning and that throughout the last two days. My own fault, I guess. But I read such a great story, I just couldn't stop reading until my eyes fell shut (sweatdrop). I love the title as well. It's called 'A World Beyond Windows' by Tsutsumi (sighs deeply). It's a German story, one of the few I would call really, really good. Dunno, I don't read very much of the German stuff anymore. But it's the only pairing (Digimon, Taito), where I can say that the German stories are a lot (!!) better than the ones on this site. I checked the ones here out and didn't find that much I liked. Maybe it's just the way the people write Yamato and Taichi (squeals) Well, Yu-Gi-Oh! has better stories here, though (grins). A lot (!!) better.

Now I shall stop babbling meaningless stuff and go on with the Review Replies!

A big Thank You to all those who reviewed. I can't answer every single one anymore. I saw my last (and already shortened) Review Replies and they were much too long still. This time they are longer even. Tell me if it offends you.

Thank You to:

xamosy, AmberEyes23, Isis-san, moonstarfire, Shi Rurouni of the Aphrodesiac, Kagu, Terri, Gallatea Morine, Elvlen-princess9744, Lildudet, CruelAngeLi, Zephyr-Sombra, Rikainiel, Hathors-Favourite, tiger witch, Hikari Hiei, Kyra Windwood, TheTrueSilver, Chibi-Ichii, Cheria, ime back, SilverWing147, YumeTakato, Osirirs-Lee, reki, Hakiri-Nefertiri, Laryna6, Maverick Soldier, Missey, Anime Crazed, i love athrun

I only fully reply to the first few reviews, because those replies get way to long already. It makes me sad in a way. Many of your reviews are so nice I could babble on for hours.

Yana5: You wanted the two of them to go? Hm, there still are my evil, evil plans (grins). Well, again I'm sorry it took me that long to write that chapter. I stopped my other story 'Visitor' to do this one first because it frustrated me. It's weird what one sentence can do to you (sighs) Thank you for the review!!

Shadow-loverOB1: You want Yami and Yugi to go to Egypt as well? Well, I would have loved that as well, but I had planned something else already and it would have ended the story, I think, if Yami would have abducted him. And he has to learn after all. (smiles) Thank you for the review!!

PadfootsNoxed: Again one for Egypt? (points at the two reviewers above) I remember a lot of people wanting this to not happen... but where are they? Don't worry, there's a lot more planned. Egypt? Maybe... (smiles)

flowacat: Whew, I'm so relieved I have friends who can bear my squeals of 'kawaii!!' every day... I couldn't hold them back, I think (grins). Okay, I couldn't do that in front of my classmates, that's for sure. But I can't put up the facade of an ice queen like you do, either. Sometimes I would love to but everyone seems to be able to read my emotions directly from my face (sighs). Bad control over facial expressions -.- Well, to the last chapter: You don't think Yami crying is weird? I really wasn't sure, but I think you're right. He's desperate after all, thinks he loses Yugi. And you liked it? Heh, I love to make you cry 'KAWAII!!' out loud (laughs) Thank you for the review!!

SoulDreamer: They both WILL be happy, but not that soon, Muahaha. My evil, evil plan promises more problems for them!! (chuckles darkly) Authors are a pain for their characters! You liked the last chapter? Why, thanks! And I hope, the next chapter comes out sooner than this one. Thank you for the review!

Mists: You like how I write Yugi? Hey, most people refer to Yami rather than to him (smiles) I'm glad you mention him as well for once. Mh, I don't know if he's like he's in the series. I'm really not sure. But thank you! Yami does see Yugi's pain all the time, but he wanted to have everything the way he wanted it. Yugi and his home. I hope the reason for that – or at least an aspect of it – got clear in this chapter. He acted selfishly, because he never learned to share or show consideration for anyone else than himself. I'm glad you like my stories that much (grins). And thank you for the nice review!

Strega: Hey, there!! (squeals) Phew, what a long review! But I love them! Mh, let's see. So you think the reason for my hesitation with the last chapter was the drastic content? Maybe. I was unsure if it was right to post the chapter like that, although the situation was planned out to be like that. (sighs) Thanks for the nice words. They helped a lot! 1) Hm, I was unhappy with the end of the last chapter because it was too happy all of the sudden after Yugi cried his eyes out. I don't know if my chapters flow into one-another smoothly, but I get your point. Some writer's divide them too much and you get the expression you read a whole new story all of the sudden 2) Yami really thinks Yugi in some way 'owns his soul'. He really does, even if maybe it isn't true. He believes in myths and also that one person can own the other. And because he thinks Yugi 'owns' him (not literally), he yearns to 'own' Yugi as well. A twisted kind of love, but still not like that. I'm not good at explaining it. 3) Thanks! So it's okay for Yami to cry in that special situation. It won't happen again that soon, though. (grins) 4) Yeah, the pharaoh-thing got me hooked as well. It's sad there are so few stories (or are there even any) showing that side of his character without making him a cruel ruler at the same time. Most Egypt-stories are too angsty or too fluffy for my taste. I try to find a base in-between. A pharaoh desperate to get what he wants but not able to, because whatever he does, he loses it. No way out (sighs) Do you know good Egypt-stories? And no, I didn't read Jane Eyre. But you made me curious. Is it a good book? And what is it about? 5) The scene with Yugi's mum was complicated to write, but it seems to have worked the way I wanted it. Yami watching Yugi while he was talking to her... well, I would have liked to really see his face in that moment. I find his face fascinating. 6) Yeah, Yugi should go smash mirrors, instead of hugging Yami. It would grant him some safety. But no, not Yugi. Too hikari to be true. 7) I know you would criticise something you don't like. That makes your reviews that special to me, really! I hope you liked that chapter as well!

Sansi: Well, to this story I get the longest reviews of the world! Mh, sorry, aber ich muss dir sagen, dass du mit deiner Vermutung falsch lagst. Ich hab sie zwar Anfangs auch in Betracht gezogen, aber mich dann doch anders entschieden. ((kicher) Jetzt ist es gut, dass so wenige Deutsch verstehen, dann kann ich es dir ja erzählen. Du wirst eingeweiht, zumindest ein bisschen.) Yugi wird nach Ägypten gehen. Mit Yami. Allerdings wird das dann nicht erzwungen sein, obwohl ich glaube, dass das einigen gefallen hätte. Na, ja. Wie das alles zustande kommt und wie lange und ob für immer oder nicht, sage ich dir aber nicht. Da musst du selber drauf warten und zuschauen. Es wird schwierig werden, aber ich kämpfe mich da schon durch (grins). Ich habe da auch eine ganze spezielle Idee, die alles noch viel komplizierter machen wird. Wieso mache ich es mir nur immer so schwer?!

Es wurden irgendwie keine neuen Folgen von Yu-Gi-Oh! gezeigt (pout... growl) Dabei hab ich das von mehreren Seiten gehört. Nur auf RTL2.de steht natürlich wieder NICHTS. Da steht aber auch nie was. Nya, dann höre ich mal auf. Die Review Replies sind viel zu lang!! Thanks for the long, looong review!!