Author's Notes:

Wee! Final chapter at last! Thank you so much for all those precious reviews! You guys are the best!

Watch out for the sequel, which will come sometime in May. I can't type it right now because we're busy at school!

I don't OWN Yu Gi Oh!

On to the final chapter! WARNING: Cliffhanger ending ahead!


Here and Thereafter

Chapter 13: The Beginning of the End


Smoke. Thick, white smoke was coming from Bakura with a loud hiss. The Millenium Ring glowed an angry shade of red. Marik left Yami in Joey and Téa's care as he straightened up. For some reason his grip around the Millenium Rod tightened.

"YOU DARE GET IN MY WAY! I SHALL KILL YOU TOO!" The Millenium Ring screamed using Bakura's mouth. "HOW DARE YOU, FOOLISH MORTAL!"

Things happened very fast. Tristan saw Bakura launching himself toward Marik, clawed right hand outstretched. Marik was shielding himself with the Millenium Rod. An explosion of blinding white light. A violet sizzling sound. Screams—from Marik or Bakura, Tristan couldn't know—

And then there was a great shattering sound. Tristan, Joey, Téa and Yami saw Marik's body form an arc as he was blasted away. The keeper of the Millenium Rod landed some eighty feet away, unconscious. A few inches from his hand was the Millenium Rod, shattered into bits.

"MARIK!" Tristan yelled as he went to help.

But even before he could get to Marik's aid, Bakura had already blasted him away. Tristan was hurled away screaming. He landed, luckily, into a nearby pile of black plastic bags. The possessed Bakura now rounded on Téa, Joey and Yami.

"What's happening to you, Ryou?!" Téa demanded. "What the hell do you think you're doing? We're your friends!"

"That's—not—Ryou!" Yami gasped. "That's—his—yami!"

Yami staggered as he tried to stand. Téa tried to pull him back but he'd slapped her hand away. He faced Bakura, tearing at the Time Seal as he did so. He'd managed to tear off the paper talisman. The Puzzle glowed blue in answer.

The Millenium Ring attacked. But Yami was ready.



Téa and Joey shielded their eyes. The wind had become so strong that they felt their hairs stand on end. The light was so intense it made Téa's eyes water up—!


When Téa opened her eyes, she and Joey were both lying flat on the ground. Yami was the only one left standing, broken arm hanging oddly from his shoulder. Ryou and his Millenium Ring was gone, nowhere to be seen.

"What happened, Yami?" Joey demanded. "Tell us what's going on!"

But Yugi took over at that time. He'd looked at Joey, eyes filled with fear.

"The Ring's taken over him completely, Joey." said Yugi. "And he sent Ryou's spirit to the Shadow Realm. He's gone beyond our reach anymore. And he's destroyed the Millenium Rod too…"

"THEN WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO US?" Joey demanded, shaking Yugi.

Yugi winced in pain, and Joey was forced to withdraw his hands.

"I don't know, Joey…" Yugi replied weakly. "I…don't…know…"

With that, Yugi Mutou fainted, surrendering at last to the pain and fatigue that had been racking him now for hours. The last things he saw were Joey and Téa, and the last he'd heard were their calls.






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