DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fanfiction produced for entertainment purposes only. Yu-Gi-Oh! and all related characters are the creations of Kazuki Takahashi.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: *Text* indicates a character's thoughts.
Chapter 1: The Idea
Yugi Moto put the last full stop in place and breathed a sigh of relief as he put his pen down. He stretched, groaning softly as his cramped muscles protested at the movement.
"Yugi? Are you all right?"
The young boy smiled at the concern in the warm velvet voice. He turned in his chair and looked over at the window-seat, where a figure that looked like a slightly older version of himself was perched. "I'm fine Yami. Just a little stiff from sitting in the one position for so long, that's all."
The spirit nodded, then tilted his head as he regarded his light curiously. "Your homework took you some time tonight," he noted. There was faint disappointment in his eyes and voice. Usually Yugi finished his homework early enough for them to have a duel or two before bedtime, but it was already past midnight. There would be no dueling tonight.
"Not really. I finished that at the usual time. I've been working on my English assignment. It's not due until next week, but I thought I'd better get it done while I have the chance."
Yami nodded, understanding immediately. He and Yugi were participating in a charity dueling tournament the following weekend, so it was doubtful that they'd have much free time during the week. Not only did they have to go through their deck and work on some new strategies and plays, but there were a few promotional events that Yugi had promised to attend as well. "Is it finished now?"
Yugi grinned. "Uh huh. Good thing too. There's no way I could have done it and concentrated on dueling too." He glanced at the assignment and shivered melodramatically.
Yami laughed softly. "Difficult?" His light smiled sweetly in response to the sympathy in his voice.
"Not really, I just don't like poetry assignments very much."
"Poetry?" Yami looked at his light with more than his usual interest. "You had to write a poem?"
Yugi grinned and shook his head. "I wish! At least that would have been fun. No, we just had to pick a poem and then write a report on what we thought it was about."
Yami winced. "Sounds… boring."
"It was. I'm glad it's finished." Yugi yawned and stretched again, then smiled apologetically at his yami. "I'm sorry it took me so long though. I know how much you look forward to our dueling."
As always, Yami was both touched and surprised by how well his light knew him. He smiled back. "It was better for you to finish your assignment and have next week free to duel, than the other way around." His smile became a chuckle as Yugi yawned again. "Now, I believe, it would be better for you to get some sleep rather than talk to me all night. Although I enjoy our conversations almost as much as I do our duels," he added with a teasing gleam in his dark eyes. Yugi laughed.
As his light got ready for bed, Yami idly got up from the window-seat and crossed to the desk. Yugi had left his poetry assignment out and Yami smiled to himself as he read it. He recognised Yugi's way of thinking in every word and sentence. But there was something strange at the bottom of the page that caught Yami's attention.
"Yugi, why is the number two written on the page? This does not look like the second page of the assignment."
"What?" Yugi was frowning slightly as he padded back to the desk, doing up his pajama top buttons along the way. "What do you mean?" He looked at the assignment page and suddenly went pale. "Oh no!" he groaned.
Yami was alarmed by his light's reaction. Through their mind-link, Yami could feel Yugi's sudden alarm. It shifted into an acceptance of the inevitable as Yugi shuffled through the pages on his desk and found his assignment paper. "You haven't finished the assignment after all?"
"No… there's another part to it. I completely forgot about it, even though I put the 2 there to remind me!" Yugi looked up at Yami and suddenly smiled. "It's a good thing you noticed it, otherwise I would have handed in an incomplete assignment! Miss Sayouki hates it when students do that."
Yami shuddered, remembering what had happened once when Malik had done just that. "Yes… for such a small woman, she certainly has a very loud voice." So loud that she had startled Ryou to the point where Bakura had thought the boy was under attack and had taken over his body to protect him. Bakura had not been impressed about the whole situation and it had taken Yami a long time to talk him out of sending the young English teacher to the Shadow Realm.
As Yugi sat down at the desk again, Yami looked sympathetically at his exhausted light. "Perhaps you could leave it until tomorrow? You need to sleep."
Yugi smiled at his friend. "Don't worry, Yami. This will only take a minute. All I have to do is write a Haiku and they're the simplest kind of poem to write!"
Yami was curious. "A Haiku? What is that?"
The boy's pen raced across the paper for a moment as Yugi wrote three short lines. He grinned as he put his pen down again. "See for yourself! This time, I've really finished my assignment!"
Yami leaned forward to peer over Yugi's shoulder.
The final piece falls in place.
Joy overwhelms me.
Yami's eyes lit up with delight as he realised what it was about. He looked down at his light and they shared a smile as they both remembered how the Millennium Puzzle had come to be completed, and how it's completion had freed Yami from millennia of imprisonment within the puzzle's broken pieces.
"So, that is a Haiku?" Yami studied it for a moment, fascination, confusion and curiosity warring in his eyes.
Yugi watched his darker half fondly for several moments before he grinned and began to explain. "A Haiku is a special form of poetry. Traditional Japanese Haikus are made of seventeen syllables divided into three lines of five, seven and five syllables. Some people don't worry about the syllables, but I've always thought that the poems sound better that way."
Yami nodded. "I definitely like this one." He smiled at his light, who chuckled in response before another yawn caught him by surprise. "If you are finished now…"
"I know, I should get to bed." Yugi grinned and stood up. As he reached to turn off his desk lamp, he paused and looked down at the page on the desk. "I don't like analysing poetry much, but I do like reading and writing it. I wonder if Miss Sayouki would give me extra class credit if I wrote a few more Haiku's for my assignment?"
Yami chuckled. "Ask her tomorrow. If she says yes, I'm sure you'll be able to find at least a few minutes during the week to come up with some. They don't seem to take all that long. But right now…" He trailed off, eyeing his light with a wry grin.
Yugi smiled and nodded. "Right. Bedtime. I'll ask her tomorrow." Turning out the light, he padded over to his bed and scrambled under the covers. "Maybe I could write a longer poem. One in Haiku verse. That's where each verse is a Haiku all by itself. I really like those. They're a lot of… fun to… write…" He yawned again. "Goodnight, my darkness."
The moonlight coming through the window gave off just enough light for Yami to see the small figure curled up in bed. He smiled. "Goodnight, my light." He had barely finished speaking before he felt the young boy slip into sleep.
Yami generally preferred to be in his soulroom at night. That night though, he felt oddly restless. He'd been feeling that way for the past few days, but this was the first time the feeling had persisted past dusk. He frowned slightly as he stared out the window at the moonlit world beyond. For once, the beauty of the shadowy night barely registered with him. His restlessness was starting to make him feel rather uneasy. It was almost as if he was waiting for something to happen… Yami shook off the thought, silently lecturing himself. Seto Kaiba and Bakura were bad enough; the last thing their group needed was more paranoia!
He blamed it on his last few visits to the Shadow Realm. He and Yugi had both sensed an odd tenseness in the air and it was definitely not their imaginations. The Shadow Monsters were feeling it too, judging by their edginess and quick tempers. Several of the weaker, more animalistic monsters had even tried to attack them!
The cool feel of metal beneath his hand brought Yami out of his reverie. With surprise, he realised that he had instinctively reached for the Millennium Puzzle hanging around his neck. He studied it for a moment, wondering if it was glowing a little more brightly than usual. He lightly traced over the designs etched in the gold and his thoughts turned to the Haiku that Yugi had written about it.
Yami smiled and leaned back against the wall. His uneasiness faded as he remembered the words of the poem, and what Yugi had said about it. His light really seemed to like that sort of poetry. If he'd known that before Christmas, it would have been a good present for him. Perhaps his birthday…
*No, why should I wait? Yugi and Ryou gave Bakura and I a lovely gift when they sang for us in the school Talent Show last month, so why should I not write my light a poem for no reason other than my wanting to?* Yami smiled at the thought. A moment later the window-seat was empty and Yami had returned to his soulroom to work on his gift for Yugi.