Disclaimer: I don't own Yu gi on it is the property of Kazuki Takahashi.
Once you've learned to be lonely and lonely is the only thing you know
It begins to feel like home
It becomes your comfort zone
Once you've learned to be without someone
And settled for the silence of an empty room
Oh it changes you
There's a lot you have to undo
Once you've learned to be lonely
- Reba Mcentire
The Quiet One: Reconciliation
(The room was deathly quiet. Everyone simply staring, wide-eyed, at Yugi, and then all hell broke loose.)
It was chaos. Téa started screaming and grabbed Tristan around the neck in a painful hug. Joey threw himself out of his chair in excitement, tripped over his feet, falling face first on the floor. Yami grabbed me by the shoulders and Grandpa ran out the room yelling for a doctor.
Finding the bed controls I slowly eased it up so I could see them a bit better.
"Good to see you awake, buddy."
"Yeah…we've been waiting so long we're starting to look like the living dead," Tristan said.
Téa lightly smacked him on the arm and glared at him.
"Okay, okay poor choice of words."
Grandpa's urgent voice from the hallway cut off further conversation.
"I'll be right there, sir, there is no need to harass anyone."
I turned my head as he came back in, practically dragging a doctor into the room.
"Good to see you're finally awake, Mr. Mutou." She said and held up her hand. "Don't try to talk yet or you're going to ruin a lot of our hard work."
She came over and checked everything, writing down several notes on a clipboard.
"We'll remove the tube in the day or two, and there will be some follow up treatment, but it likes really good. Now once the tubes out will change your diet and increase solid foods. You could stand to gain a few pounds before we discharge you."
I'd eat a ton of fries everyday if they asked me to, I didn't care. I was getting my life back. Something I had accepted as impossible. Judging by the way everyone was smiling at the news they were happy for me too.
Seto came by that afternoon once the gang had finally left. It was a good thing too because if the knew he could communicate with me better than they could, with pens and paper, they would throw a fit.
'Thank you, for coming and for everything.'
"You don't have to thank me for anything."
'Yes I do.'
"You're okay with having them with you?"
He glared. "You forgive too easily."
'They're not forgiven!'
I dropped my hands, sunk into the pillow, and stared up at the ceiling. I knew they cared about me and needed me, but they hadn't actually said they were sorry yet.
'I don't know what to do, Seto, a part of me does want to forgive them another part of me wants to hate them forever; the rest of me just never wants to leave this room. It isn't entirely their fault, I see that now, I never did seek them out. I just assumed they would react at certain way if I told them. Now that I know they truly care that they didn't do it on purpose I just feel so lost.'
"It is your call, Yugi, nobody can decide this but you."
I nodded and grabbed his wrist as he turned to leave.
'Come back tomorrow, please?'
He nodded and quickly left the room.
I spent a long time staring at the ceiling when he was gone. I knew I needed the rest, but I couldn't sleep. I didn't know what to do. There was no doubt that they had made poor decisions been down right stupid in fact, but they had never hated me, never felt I was weak or childish like I thought. Still how did-how could I forgive them for what they did? How could I tell them it's okay that they left me in this hell all on my own, how could I say I was all right, that we could all move on, when my body had been ravaged and hacked into by treatment and I still didn't think I would ever be really all right?
Over the next few days they came regularly to see me. Joey and Tristan came in and just stood there trying to start conversation. Téa just came in and cried. Yami and Grandpa always in together and liked to make small talk, about the shop or some TV show. The doctors came in regularly to take samples and run tests and on the third day the tube was finally removed.
"Try and say something."
"What am I supposed to say?" I asked my voice rough and deep; completely foreign to my ears.
She smiled. "That's good enough for a start, but don't over do it with your friends today."
Friends? Were they my friends again? I wasn't sure and I didn't think they were sure either.
She walked out as they filed in, and Yami actually came without Grandpa.
I was grateful that the tube was out because I was getting rather tired of using a pen and endless pads of paper.
That got a strong reaction as I expected it would. Téa hugged me and cried again. Joey and Tristan high fived each other and Yami just stood there silently, a strange expression on his face.
"We, we should really talk now…about everything shouldn't we?"
They all started babbling at once and eventually "Yugi, we are all so sorry,"was a coherent sentence to my ears.
"I know, and I'm sorry it turned out like this, but I am a stronger person now so maybe it was all for the best."
"No, Yugi, don't say that! Yes everything turned out all right, but that doesn't make what I- what any of us did to you okay!"
"Yami's right man!"
"I don't know how we're gonna fix this, Yug, but will think of something!"
And they would find a way to do that. It was what we did. Worked together and defeated everything that stood in our way. I just wasn't sure I wanted that. That they wanted this for us and not, as yet, another Good Samaritan project, I turned to look at Yami. I wanted to here it from him.
"Can I talk to Yami alone for a minute?"
They left quickly, closing the door behind them.
"Do you really like me, Yami?"
"I mean do you think of me as more then just a guy you're supposed to protect?"
"Of course I do, Yugi! You are the most important person in the world to me. I didn't do all those things with you because it was my destiny or my obligation. I did it because I wanted to."
I just turned away from him and rubbed my shoulder. I wanted to believe him I really did…I just couldn't.
"Please believe me, Yugi. I'm sorry let me make it up to you…please."
"How can I believe you? You and the gang are here now as if nothing ever happened, but how can I trust you when for over half a year you did nothing, but belittle me? Shove me aside and pretend you didn't need me. Well now I don't need you! I don't need Grandpa and I certainly don't need those so called friends of mine I don't need anyone!"
"I know you don't, but I do."
I was stunned. Of all the things I expected him to say that was not it.
"If I am truly honest with you, Yugi, I did have alternative motives for leaving you. In a way I thought I was protecting you, but I was also doing it for me. I've never had anything outside of you in this time. Everything I have ever done has revolved around you. And when I lost you to the seal I completely fell apart. So, I wanted to prove that I really could be my own person away from you."
"And you have," I said.
He snorted in disgust. "No I haven't I just did what you did. I went out with your friends and went to all of your hangouts. I didn't build anything that was mine I just came in and took over what you had already built."
He sat down on the bed and took my hand in his.
"And in doing so I nearly lost you again. You're the most important person in my life I-would it sound really stupid if I said I think I love you?"
I let out a sound that seemed to be something between a sob and a laugh. "There was a time I would have given anything to hear you say that."
"I do love you, you know."
"No you don't not like you think you do. You love that little cherub that you could protect and comfort. You love the innocence child who balanced you out. You don't love this," I said gesturing to my body, "just like I don't love you. I loved the image I had of you. Of the fearless knight who rode on a great white horse and saved the day. I loved the image of a man who had no flaws who wanted nobody, but me. I don't love the man who is selfish, callous and dark."
He stared at the floor.
"I can change, Yugi."
"But I can't, Yami, I've been through too much to ever be your little light again and in the end it's not fair to make you change and be a person you're not just to fulfill my fantasies. You deserve someone who can love you, flaws and all, and there is someone like that for you, Yami, it's just not me."
"You don't know how much I hate myself right now, Yugi. How often I kick myself for making you feel the need to question everything we've ever been through because I was so selfish."
"You got a new start after all your hardship, a whole new change at life. You're happy and I can't fault you for that."
"But you can fault me for being happy at the expense of your happiness."
"If you're happy then I'm happy, Yami."
He looked into my eyes; his gaze serious and firm. "I know you don't believe that, Yugi, so don't think for a second that I will. Even you can't be that selfless. If all of this didn't really matter than you wouldn't be as angry and as hurt as you are, and have every right to be."
He was right. I was angry and hurt and that wasn't going to go away in a week or less, even if we were all sorry.
"I was an arrogant fool I should have sat down and talked with you about how I felt and what I planned to do. Instead I ran off half cocked convinced my plan was fool proof."
"And when I found about the cancer I should have tried harder to get your attention even if I had to put it on a roadside billboard."
He smiled a bit at that and I enjoyed seeing it; and smiled back.
"We both screwed up, Yami, the question now is what do we do, and can we fix it?"
"Honestly I just wish I could turn back time. To before any of this ever happened."
"I want things to go back to the way they were too, Yami, I just don't think they can. We've changed grown up, grown apart."
"I know, but we don't have to be lovers, but we can still be friends. I want to get to know you again to find out about Ethan and everything you've been doing. If you want to tell me that is. We all want that. I know we weren't there for you before, but we are now if you'll let us in."
I looked up and smiled fully.
"I'd like that."
(End chapter 17)