This idea has been lingering in my somewhat demented mind for quite a while. While reading the book The Boy And The Dog Are Sleeping by Nasdijj, I decided to put it into words. Little corners of Yu-Gi-Oh fact may be tattered in this fanfiction. Little pieces may not make sense. That's all right. Don't lecture me on all the facts like I'm deprived of knowledge and really care. I just had to get this down in writing—even if it's uttered haltingly or awkwardly, even if the time is long between updates and fanfiction.net auto formatting screws everything over. If this touches some part of you, please endure. I'll try my very hardest to endure as well.
The lunchroom hubbub and noise rose and fell in all its glorious cacophony like the flirtatious laughter of a schoolgirl. The decibel and variety of its childish and oftentimes sordid chatter was like shadows chasing sunlight on the plains—restless and vain. The din, however unpleasant, failed in overpowering the humble conversation of one very particular group of students with whom our story opens and, eventually, will close.
You know them well.
They sit just there, you see, amid the tables of Duel Monsters and Magic the Gathering and Poker and Dungeons and Dragons and Preps and Freaks and Goths and haughty football jockeys who have never experienced anything of pain or suffering. And there sits this humble group. I could list them all by name, but you already know each of them in turn. Except this new girl—her name is Diana Golobay, but that is of little importance. She is no Mary Sue. She is no original character. She is real, just as the other people in this story are real, on some figurative level.
She is new to the others as well, you see.
"How long ago did you say you moved here?" It was Tristan.
"Well, it's been almost six months now," the girl replied. "But I was just transferred into Tea's class a few weeks ago. I remember seeing you guys in the halls and such," she said, "but I didn't get to know anyone 'til I started eating lunch with you."
"Yeah, we've all known each other for a few years," Tea explained. "We've had some rough spots, but we've helped each other through. We're real good friends now."
"Like family," Joey added. "Idn't that right, Yuug?"
The short one with the funny crest of hair—Yugi—smiled at him in response.
"We've been rather inseparable for a while now," the British one agreed. He was handsome. The new girl liked him.
But as much as she would have enjoyed staring at his soft features and carrying on some idle humorous chitchat in hopes of eliciting that smile from him, an inconsistency had manifested itself in her reasoning during this particular conversation. It quite bewildered her, and she felt it required some immediate ramification.
"Yugi," she hailed suddenly, effectively acquiring his attention. "I was wondering. You've all known each other for a few years now, right?"
"I would have remembered that hair of yours, but I'm pretty sure I didn't see you until a couple months after I came here," she continued, her brown eyes taking him in with scrutiny. "Why didn't I see you around at first?"
The table was suddenly quiet, all other eyes looking away except for dark brown scrutinizing lavender. The din of the lunchroom had somehow quieted, too, and the girl felt with certain guilt that she had stumbled into forbidden ground. A chill ran down her spine and she glanced at the others in search of some explanation.
Yugi said nothing.
Joey cleared his throat.
"I'm sorry," the new girl mumbled, hopelessly confused.
"We can talk about something else," Joey tried, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
"It's okay, Joe," Yugi objected, his voice hollow. "I have nothing to hide," he said, his eyes looking at the new girl but looking far away, back into some painful memory. "You're my friend now, too, and you deserve to know."
The girl swallowed—instantly solemn—the oppressive cloud of some horrible secret weighing so heavily on her heart that she thought she might burst. She had not meant to force anything personal out of her new friends. She wasn't nosy that way.
In any case, the others at the table took their places of knowing and respectful silence, each avoiding eye contact, and the clamor of the cafeteria continued as Yugi began his story.
"It rained that day…"
Yugi walked home from school after the Honor Society meeting. It was the last time he walked home from school in a very long while. It was a perfectly normal day. It was the last day of his life. It rained that day.
Yugi took the shortcut home like he'd been told not to do so many times before. It was the last time he took the shortcut ever again. He didn't care back then. He hadn't followed those rules since his mother died in a car accident the previous winter. Like I said, he didn't care.
There was a man behind the empty grocery store, which had gone under the same winter that Yugi's mom died. So it goes. There was a man walking along behind the empty grocery store. Yugi didn't care.
When Yugi didn't come home at five, his grandfather was worried. When he wasn't home at six, Yami began to worry. When the sun dropped behind seven o'clock, Yami left the shop and Solomon and jogged back and forth from the school to the shop several times in the rain. When he didn't see Yugi there, he panicked. He ran through the rain-slicked streets calling Yugi's name. Then he started screaming it.
He felt no return through the mental bond they shared. He sensed no bright glimmering in the dark places of his mind. Yugi wasn't answering, and Yami was afraid.
The sky turned eight o'clock black, and with none of Yugi's friends knowing where he was, Yami began running scenarios through his frantic brain. He began checking every arcade, every usual hangout place he could think of. Then he tried the shortcuts he remembered Yugi taking—from the arcades, from the hangout spots, from the theatre, from school.
They say 'it'll be in the last place you look.' That doesn't make any sense. Of course, once you've found what you're looking for, you'll stop looking. Which was exactly what Yami did. He turned the corner behind the empty grocery store, and he stopped. Then he cried.