Important Author's note: The SEQUEL to this will be called The Eternal Gem. Hehe…bet you didn't see that one coming, huh?
Chapter 17: Epilogue: Hidden Shadows
The warm, gentle caress across his bare back made him sigh contently and roll over. Yuugi's eyes fluttered open and he stared up into Yami's smiling face. The sun was hitting the side of his face causing rays to flicker across his face and eyes. Yuugi stared wondrously at Yami's beautiful face and sparkling eyes and reached up a hand to press his fingers against his cheek. Yami turned his head and grasped Yuugi's hand, kissing his fingers softly. Sitting up, Yuugi leaned against him and pressed his cheek against his bare chest, relishing in the warmth emitting from it.
"Yami…," Yuugi whispered, gazing up at him lovingly.
"Hmm?" Yami smiled down at him, whisking his fingers across his face and through his hair.
"This is the best thing that's ever happened to me," Yuugi said quietly as tears began welling up in his eyes. "You and Egypt…everything. Although…"
Yami blinked. "What it is?"
"Well, I do miss my other friends like Jou, Anzu and Honda. I know grandpa's coming to visit sometime when he gets free, but my friends have school and lives far away."
"I see," Yami smiled, cupping Yuugi's cheek. "Don't worry. I'm sure there will be times when I'm allowed to leave here so we can visit your grandpa back home. That way you'll get to visit your friends as well."
Yuugi's eyes lit up immensely. "Oh thank you, Yami!" Yuugi exclaimed, hugging him tightly.
Yami chuckled deeply. "Your grandpa has already explained to your friends that you are staying with me. In fact, we've gotten a letter from one of your friends addressed to you and Ryou. Your grandpa sent it for them."
Yami nodded. "Yes, I was told this morning that it arrived while you were still sleeping. It's sitting over there on the table."
The sheets were thrown aside as Yuugi jumped up and approached the table, picking up the letter.
We all heard the news bout you stayin' there. That's sweet, Yug! Livin' with the pharaoh and everything. I hope sometime we can visit you in Egypt like we did before. Anzu and Honda say hi and Anzu wants ta let you know that she'll get on ya case if you don't study. Ah, but who cares what she says, right? Just kidding…kinda. Oh, we heard Ryou's there as well! Lucky him too! Say hi to him for us, k? Well, Yug, you've missed quite a lot here while you was savin' Egypt again. Kaiba's pretty pissed that he never got a duel with you and I guess he's…uh…using his resources ta try and locate ya. He's tellin' everyone that you ran away cuz you're too scared ta face him. I told that punk right in front of everyone that you was on vacation and that he needs ta chill! Of course Kaiba called me names and stuff, so just for a favor, Yug, when you get da chance, please come down here and stomp on his ego, will ya? It's drivin' me nuts! He's so obsessed with this duelin' thing and everybody knows you're da King of Games! As you were properly nicknamed after defeating that crazy wacko…Pegasus or whateva. I mean, come on, he was even named after a horse.
Anyway, nothin' else is new. I've been helpin' your grandpa out at da store and he's payin' me! He wanted me ta tell ya that he and Arthur Hollakins, or whateva, made a real discovery. Some old ancient Book of the Dead thing that was supposedly Anubus' power, or whateva because it talks about that guy Anubus a lot. You can ask your grandpa about it, I don't really remember da details except that they found it in a really unusual place. Long story short they got a lot of money for it so your grandpa's doing really well! He's working alongside Arthur now. I heard Arthur might put his name under the museum too since he helped ta save his life from those Bounty Hunters your grandpa mentioned and because they find da neatest things together.
Well, hope you'll come back ta visit soon, not just for me and da gang, but because of that egotistical maniac Kaiba. Once ya beat him again he should shut up. Oh, and he wanted me to tell ya, since he assumes I knew where you was but I wasn't tellin' cuz he's convinced you're scared of him, that he's plannin' to duel you next week at his new Kaiba Tower creepy-thing-a-ma-bobby. Some new building he built or something. I dunno. But it's gonna be live, so kick some Kaiba butt, Yug! Oh, and he says that if you don't show up then he's gonna announce to the whole world that you're scared to duel him cuz you know he's da best. So if you can, please come down, k? The gang and I miss you and Ryou! Ask Ryou to come with you too. Hope to see you squash Kaiba live next week, bud! Later!
Yuugi smiled and shook his head. "Looks like Kaiba hasn't given up."
Yami's eyes narrowed a bit. "That's the man that wants to duel you, right?"
Yuugi nodded. "Yeah, but don't worry about it. Dueling isn't that important to me anymore, not since I met you. I guess I'll have to duel him though one last time."
"Don't give up dueling just because you live here, Yuugi. If you love it then you should still continue it," Yami said.
"I guess, but I won't have much time to practice. Anyway, I think I can handle Kaiba. I've dueled him before so I'm sure I'll do fine. Is that alright if we go back to Japan just for one day next week?"
"That will be fine," Yami smiled. "For now though we must get ready to greet the people soon. After the festival is when I go out and see how my people are doing."
"Alright, just let me get dressed," Yuugi said, searching for his clothes.
He felt warm arms embrace him from behind and Yuugi tilted his head as Yami leaned his head against his.
"How about we have breakfast together somewhere in town," Yami whispered, kissing his cheek.
Yuugi smiled and nuzzled Yami's neck. "I'd love that."
Flipping through the pages again, Isis read over the lines for the umpteenth time and sighed. Yami's father explained about the Eternal Gem, but nothing told her where it might be, if it was truly real. His father only wrote down what he had found out about it and what he'd like to wish for. Closing it up, Isis sighed and leaned against the chair. A knock sounded at her door and she stood up to answer it.
"Good morning Fidil," she smiled as he stepped into the room.
"Good morning," he responded with a polite bow. "I was looking for you priestess. You've been in your room since early last night and I wanted to make sure everything was alright."
Isis was about to respond that she was fine, but she just sighed and walked over to the chair she had been sitting in earlier.
"I'm just tired that's all. And a lot has been on my mind."
Fidil stepped closer and stared at her with concern. "What is it? Have you had another premonition?"
She shook her head. "No, I've been trying to give myself one."
"How come?" he asked.
Isis glanced down at the journal for a minute before pushing it into the chair so Fidil couldn't see it.
"There's a problem that has come to my attention, Fidil. I've been in here concentrating on receiving a vision and instead of a vision I got something else," she said quietly, lifting her head to look at him. "I found the papers on Yuugi, the ones from the healers after he had fought again with Kontar. It showed he was healing naturally and that he would be alright, as we've seen, however…looking at it again I noticed something that I hadn't seen before."
"Is it something with prince Yuugi's health?" Fidil asked, showing concern.
Isis shook her head sadly. "No, that's the thing. He has healed and is completely back to normal."
Fidil blinked. "So, what's the problem then?"
"He's back to normal, Fidil," she repeated quietly, staring at him with wide, sad eyes. "Meaning that he doesn't have a trace of Yami's power within him anymore."
"What?" Fidil's eyes went wide. "What does that mean?"
"It means that Yuugi does not have eternal life. He will age even as Yami doesn't. And he is vulnerable to diseases and sicknesses like any other normal boy. He is back to being completely human, which means his body may have trouble adjusting to the climate here in Egypt. Not only that, but he and Yami will not be able to be together forever. And being human…the more time Yuugi spends with Yami, the more his power will affect him negatively. He will begin to have reactions and get sick from being in the presence of power that his body does not understand."
"But…but Yuugi used some of Yami's power against Kontar! And ever since we transferred Yami's powers to Yuugi there has been a piece of the pharaoh's power inside of Yuugi."
"Yes, it is within Yuugi, but it is dormant. That much is evident from the results of the testing when he was unconscious. And because it is dormant, unless it awakens on its own, Yuugi will begin to become affected by Yami's powers," Isis explained sadly.
Fidil slumped down into a chair, his face scrunched up in worry. "This…this can't be. After everything the pharaoh and Yuugi have been through…why can't they just live together happily?"
Isis closed her eyes and sighed. "It's not that simple. In fact, I don't know why I believed it would be. The pharaoh and Yuugi come from separate worlds. The pharaoh has his human body, but he's immortal. He cannot get diseases or sicknesses or much of anything that most humans are susceptible to. And his powers are what give him his eternal life and the power to choose how long he wants his eternity to last. His powers are very active in his body so that if he is ever injured he will heal five times quicker. All of us have this ability because of our bloodline and being connected to Millennium Items. Ryou and Yuugi were not affected by them right away and in fact their bodies didn't reject the power, but it's becoming too much for them. Especially Yuugi since he had used one of Yam's strongest abilities to summon the Egyptian Gods…although he is doing well now he will very quickly begin to feel weak and soon get very sick. I'm sure the same thing will happen to Ryou as well."
"What can we do?" Fidil whispered pleadingly.
Isis turned to glance at the journal hidden behind her and then faced Fidil. "There is something I'm looking into which might be an answer. However, if this turns out to be nothing then Yuugi and Ryou will have no choice but to go back to Japan, otherwise they will eventually die. If this is something that may work, I will address it to the pharaoh immediately. Until then, Fidil, do not alert Yami of this potential problem. Let me look into it more."
Fidil nodded. "I will priestess."
Isis took in a deep breath and then smiled sadly. "Let's allow them to enjoy each day together until the problem becomes apparent. Hopefully, I will be able to find the solution by then."
"Yes, I pray that as well," Fidil answered quietly.
Silence befell them for several minutes before Fidil got up and let himself out. Isis pulled out the journal, turning to the page which mentioned the Eternal Gem. Her eyes narrowed in determination and she closed the book. It was time for her to take some action. If her visions weren't going to help her there was still one place that could.
Yawning, Ryou walked out of the bathroom with a towel around his waist. He was thankful his room had a bathroom attached to it so he wouldn't have to try and find a spare one in the huge palace. And the last thing he wanted to do was to disturb Yuugi and Yami. Smiling, Ryou approached the bed marveling how it would be his for all eternity, or at least as long as possible. He knew about the immortality of the Items, but he had been questioning it recently since he woke up. Last night he had been a bit…distracted by Bakura's initiations toward him, but since his head was more refreshed and clear since he stepped into the shower, he had been wondering how it was possible for both he and Yuugi to have a piece of that power for eternity. He knew Yuugi had gotten Yami's power and he had used it and Ryou himself sensed Bakura's powers very strongly because of his sixth sense, but how would that allow them to be immortal like Yami and Bakura? It just didn't add up. Ryou, however, was too afraid to question it; afraid that maybe he was right in believing that immortality was just not that easy. Just because they were associated with the Millennium Items and their owners, did not necessarily mean that, being human, they'd be able to adapt to immortality.
Rubbing his head gently, Ryou sighed heavily. He shouldn't be doubting things at this time, especially when he was so happy to learn he could stay there. Sure, he'd miss his friends and it certainly would be a big shock to explain to his parents, but it was like a dream come true. So why was he questioning it? Perhaps it was just in his nature to be curious and analyze things. Still, he wondered what his foster parents would think about the whole Egypt and immortality ideal. Maybe it would be best not to break the news to them; they wouldn't understand as well as Yuugi's grandfather who worked in that sort of field. Perhaps he should just write to them and tell him he'll be studying abroad in Egypt; that would be better. That way they wouldn't have to know and without knowing they wouldn't worry so much or be put in any danger.
"That's settled then," he whispered aloud.
The door behind him suddenly opened and Ryou wheeled around to see Bakura stepping into the room. Bakura stopped and observed his state of dress, smirking.
"Sorry, didn't realize I'd come at a bad time."
Ryou blushed crimson and held the towel around his waist firmly as if afraid it would fall.
"B-bakura, um…what is it?"
"I was told from the pharaoh that Yuugi wondered if you were up because they're going out for breakfast to mingle with the people," Bakura said, his eyes moving up and down Ryou's body.
It was slightly unnerving, but Ryou knew Bakura wasn't one to be shy or modest. Ryou bit his lip to keep from stuttering from the embarrassment of being stared at.
"That's fine with me. Um…are you by any chance coming along?" he asked unable to meet Bakura's gaze.
"Well, I am starving and I hear Yami wants to show you and Yuugi his favorite dining place. So I guess I am coming. Why? Would you rather we eat together…alone?" Bakura's eyes gleamed toward him.
Ryou's blush darkened. "Uh…I…that is I haven't seen Yuugi in some time since he's been busy. I'd like to be able to visit with him."
Bakura's eyebrows rose and he stepped fully inside the room, approaching him. Ryou couldn't move back any further since the bed was against the wall and already he was practically sitting on the bed.
"Is that so?" Bakura asked casually, as he approached within a foot.
Ryou glanced up at him shyly and nodded. "Yeah, and…and I'd like to see the town. I mean, I don't really know this place that well…," he trailed off, gulping as Bakura's lips curled into another mysterious smile.
"Of course. I guess we'll have to go then. It would be rude since we were invited right?" Ryou didn't get a chance to respond as Bakura leaned his head down toward Ryou's face. "I guess you and I will have to take a rain check on our date then."
He whispered the sentence and Ryou found he could only stare into Bakura's face, almost as if he were paralyzed. He watched as Bakura's face inched closer, nearly teasing him as his breath blew against his face and soon more specifically his lips. Ryou held his breath, not sure what Bakura was planning. It seemed like he was getting ready to kiss him. As Bakura leaned down Ryou blushed and found Bakura's lips gusting over his cheek as he stopped by his ear.
"We'll of course have to finish what we started last night," he whispered seductively as his hand reached over and touched his neck.
Bakura's fingers trailed down his neck tickling his skin and causing goose-bumps to rise. His hand was gone a second later and Ryou had no choice but to let out the breath he was holding, unless he wanted to faint from lack of oxygen. Bakura then tilted his head back toward Ryou's face, touching his lips lightly against his cheek. Ryou could feel him smiling against his cheek as he moved toward his lips. Ryou sucked in a breath as Bakura's lips ghosted over his. Bakura was definitely teasing him and there was an unusual gleam in his eyes that Ryou couldn't quite place. He didn't know whether to be aroused by it or wary. That was probably Bakura's plan; to taunt him and make him feel confused about how he was supposed to react to what he was doing.
"I'll see you downstairs," Bakura whispered against his lips before pressing down fully.
Ryou's heart inwardly jumped and he tensed for a second before relaxing into the kiss. Bakura's eyes were closed so Ryou allowed his eyes to flutter closed which let his guard down. Unbeknown to Ryou, Bakura's eyes opened as he pushed their lips closer together and brought a hand behind Ryou's neck. While distracting him with the kiss, his other hand reached out toward the oblivious boy. Ryou felt Bakura pull away and opened his eyes. Although the kiss was warm his skin was feeling a bit chilly. Bakura's eyes were still gleaming and he smiled widely. He then stepped back and turned, heading toward the door. Before he stepped out of the door, he turned back around and let his eyes move up and down over his body again. Ryou wondered why his eyes lingered down for a moment before looking back up into his face.
"Oh, and you might want to put something on first," he smirked, walking out the door and closing it behind him.
Ryou blinked and looked down. His whole face turned crimson as he saw his towel crumpled on the floor, leaving his body completely open. Ryou made a high-pitched sound in the back of his throat and picked up his towel quickly, covering his body even though it was too late. That had been Bakura's plan! He had seductively distracted him while causing his towel to fall, which meant he had obviously seen Ryou naked now.
"I can't believe him!" Ryou exclaimed quietly, still blushing madly and hurrying to get dressed. "He'll pay for that!"
As he finished dressing, Ryou realized he was becoming a little less shy around Bakura and more open with him. Hopefully over time he wouldn't blush at even the littlest things so that way it wouldn't be so easy for Bakura to tease him, or get past his guards like he had done a minute ago.
A few minutes later, Ryou walked downstairs avoiding Bakura's gaze as he met him, Yami and Yuugi in the lobby. Yuugi gave him a brief hug, smiling joyfully and Ryou returned the look. He did send a glare toward Bakura who just smirked in response. Yami too gave him a brief hug and then they were on their way. Yami explained some facts about the town and how he used to go to this dining area when he was growing up, which looked out over the sea, when he wanted to get away from the responsibilities at the palace. Yuugi was attached to Yami's side the entire way. A couple times, Yami leaned down to caress Yuugi's face and Bakura made a gagging sound. Yuugi and Ryou would both turn to glare at him, but Bakura would pretend not to notice.
The dining place was spectacular and even Bakura couldn't complain about it. They talked about many things and Yuugi and Ryou told them about lives in the present back in Japan. Bakura snorted about things like uniforms and there being a small hierarchy in the school, but also about all the rules they had to follow. Yami was very interested in everything they had to say and asked several questions, especially focusing on areas of study.
"As your grandfather suggested, Yuugi, I will set up study schedules for you both," Yami explained, glancing at Ryou as he said this. "I would like to know what you have studied so far and then what you plan to study further. There will be some things you feel you don't need to study, but having a well-rounded education goes a lot farther."
"I agree," Ryou nodded, glancing at Bakura who just rolled his eyes.
"Excuse me pharaoh for interrupting such an interesting conversation," Bakura quipped sarcastically, "but what exactly are you going to do about Marik?"
Yami stared at him as he answered. "Bakura, there isn't very much I can do, even if I wanted to punish him. Isis already explained to me the other day that Marik only worked for Kontar to obtain his Millennium Rod, not to harm us or Egypt in any way. He did however, use his Millennium Rod on Yuugi and Hati, which I will have to talk to him about, but other than that he really hasn't done anything wrong that I can see."
Bakura slammed a fist down on the table, causing both Ryou and Yuugi to jump. "Then what you can't see is obviously the problem here!" he hissed. "That traitor has gone too far in his search for power and you know it. Even if he didn't help Kontar much, he still has his own agenda, you know. And just to let him walk free would later on cause much chaos for Egypt, especially when he turns into the next Kontar!"
Yami nodded in agreement. "I see your views, Bakura and I respect them. I will keep an eye on him, a very close eye, as well as Isis. But until he actually does something to the extent where punishment is valid, I cannot act."
"You know, if I were pharaoh, I wouldn't be so lenient to take any chances," Bakura said as his eyes narrowed.
"It's a good thing you're not pharaoh then," Ryou said before he could stop himself.
Bakura's eyes very slowly moved toward him. Ryou managed to keep his calm expression, allowing himself to be more open with Bakura. If Bakura could tease him, then Ryou could tease him back and he'd just have to deal with that. Bakura stared at him for a long moment before his all too familiar smirk appeared on his face.
"I suggest that if you don't want a repeat of what happened this morning, that you keep those kind of comments to yourself," he said quietly, as his eyes remained narrowed in a vindictive fashion.
Yuugi looked back and forth between them and glanced at Yami, who just shrugged. They didn't know what Bakura was referring to, but Ryou didn't seem at all worried. Smiling, Ryou leaned closer toward the table staring directly into Bakura's eyes. Using his sixth sense he could tell that Bakura just had a very sarcastic personality. He was even sometimes harsh and cold with what would seem like rude comments on the outside, but it was just his view of things. He never really meant to hurt anyone directly; it was just his personality, which was very open but critical.
"I don't believe that's a real threat, Bakura," Ryou continued to smile. "Because I know very well you enjoyed what happened this morning and you're not willing to repeat it, at least not in public."
For a moment Bakura's face hardened until his smirk came back and he leaned casually back in his chair.
"So, the cute innocent little boy has a backbone after all. I'm impressed."
Ryou just smiled and raised an eyebrow in response. Yuugi's eyes widened and he turned to glance at Bakura, since he was sitting next to him.
"Wow, Bakura, I didn't think you'd admit that you thought Ryou was cute in front of everyone."
Ryou bit down on his lip to keep from laughing. He knew that tone in Yuugi's voice very well, which happened to be a bit louder than it had to. Yuugi was teasing Bakura as well. Glaring at him, Bakura leaned forward until he was nose-to-nose with Yuugi.
"You know, being since we will be living a lot closer together, since my home isn't far from the palace, I think that's not a very smart move. You never know when accidentally an Egyptian Wasp serpent will find its way into your bed," he finished quietly, his eyes boring into Yuugi's violet eyes, which still shone with amusement.
"I'm thinking that's not smart on your part, Bakura," Yami smiled, causing Bakura's gaze to land on him. "Yuugi and I share the same bed, you know."
Bakura smirked and glanced down at Yuugi. "Oh really? And what per say do you do in that bed that you share?"
Yuugi's eyes widened and a blush came over his face, allowing Bakura to smirk even wider. Yami didn't seem at all fazed but Ryou turned slightly pink as well, mostly in embarrassment for his friend who was just as modest as he was, though…Yuugi apparently wasn't completely innocent or at least not as naive anymore.
"Then it would be a shame if you two were…distracted at some moment, wouldn't it? Maybe if the bed were rocking even," Bakura taunted as Yuugi's face reddened to crimson. "Then I guess it'd be like killing two birds with one stone; birds in heat that is."
"Bakura!" Ryou exclaimed as Yuugi was unable to look into Bakura's face anymore. "We're in a restaurant!"
Bakura watched as Yuugi glanced down at his place setting, blushing dark and obviously trying to hide it, before lifting his gaze toward the pharaoh and smirking even wider.
"Did you know they make devices that can record nowadays?"
Yami's eyes narrowed playfully. "Bakura, I think we should concentrate on eating and enjoying time together."
"Yes, let's," he smirked in agreement. "And who knows, sometime you and Yuugi," he said, glancing down at Yuugi whose blush had diminished a little bit as he looked up at him, "should come over to my place and have a little…competition with me and Ryou."
Yuugi and Ryou blushed so dark that it was definitely noticeable. Yami's eyebrows rose a bit and Bakura kept his smirk as he leaned back in relaxation. He had obviously won that round since Ryou and Yuugi couldn't even speak. Luckily, their waiter came by with their meals at that moment, allowing the conversation to change to a more appropriate topic. As they ate, Ryou and Yuugi stopped blushing and were able to participate in the conversation. Since Yami was the pharaoh, their table got special attention and extra food, including drinks.
Once they were finished Yami took them on a small tour of the town. They stopped at the beautiful meadow later on for lunch, where viziers brought trays of food so they were able to have a picnic. Isis and Fidil joined them in the picnic as well as the viziers. Even several couples and families that passed by or heard them laughing came to join them as well. Isis occasionally glanced over toward Yuugi and Yami, watching them eat and laugh together so carelessly and joyfully. Her eyes darted over to Bakura and Ryou as well where Bakura was obviously saying something to embarrass the poor boy. Still, the look in Bakura's eyes told her he was having the time of his life and Ryou didn't seem at all offended; he rather enjoyed it to some degree as well. It was so peaceful, with such a beautiful day and rays of sunshine were pouring down upon them. The sky was cloudless and even the birds were singing. Horus was flying over them, having found his master and deciding to have some time snatching up pieces of food and taking to the sky where he wouldn't be caught.
It was all so perfect. The people were happy, the pharaoh was happy, the two boys who had helped save Egypt were happy, Bakura was finally taking to teasing Ryou rather than stealing items from tombs and causing trouble, and everyone else seemed happy. Isis was also enjoying herself, although the shadow in the back of her mind was still there. At some point, the happiness would be invaded by the reality that it couldn't stay this peaceful and joyful forever; at least not until there was a solution to the problem about Ryou and Yuugi's lives being in danger still. It was a dark problem, but it wasn't an immediate one so Isis would wait to tell the pharaoh. She would allow them the happiness for the time being as she researched the Eternal Gem in secret. Not only was that a secret, but the secret of her brother; what he did and how he was searching for the Eternal Gem and how only she knew of his whereabouts. He remained with his faithful friends, including the young woman Mai. Despite this dreary problem that was going to some time put a shadow over the peaceful atmosphere for the Pharaoh, Yuugi and his friend, for the time being they would all enjoy the temporary victory that had saved Egypt once again.
SEQUEL information: Have no fear, the sequel is near! Hey, that rhymed! Yay me! Tehehehe. Anyway, ignore that part. What you all do want to hear about is the sequel. Now, I doubt it's going to be as long as this and its prequel The Lost Pharaoh were, but it should still be very interesting, I hope. It focuses on how to solve the problem of Yuugi and Ryou being able to stay in Egypt. The main genre, once again, is romance and the secondary will be suspense. There will be other side issues and other characters taking a main role, such as Marik. And yes, fear not, Yuugi will have his duel with Kaiba in the sequel as well! And you will see Jou, Anzu and Honda briefly. And Mai will also become a bigger character alongside Marik and Isis. I'm not going to say anymore, except that the prologue to the sequel, called THE ETERNAL GEM, will be up sometime over Christmas break. I'm estimating it'll be up at the latest, the day after Christmas, depending on how hectic my holiday is. But it will be up, k?
Author's note: Hope you enjoyed this, let me know! Thanks a ton to everyone who has stuck with me through this story and even The Lost Pharaoh. I know sometimes keeping a story going makes it less interesting when it's expanded too much, but I feel that this sequel to Rebirth will be good to finalize everything from this mini-series. And I do plan to write more Yu-Gi-Oh stories, so fear not:-)
Kari-Sama: I'm so glad that you liked the yaoi scene again! I think I'm getting better at it. :-) The sequel will continue to have romance so fear not! You will be overloaded again. Tehehehe!
Josephine Taylor: Thank you! I'm really glad it's kept you interested this long. I really hope the sequel to this will be just as successful as The Lost Pharaoh and Rebirth. I guess I'll see how it goes!
Yana5: Aww, I'm glad you think they're cute! Yes, don't worry the couples will be in the sequel with more romance! Of course there will be some interesting dilemmas as well. Yami is possessive of Yuugi, actually. I know he doesn't seem to show it, but he has a little bit. If you remember in The Lost Pharaoh, and in this one, whenever Yuugi is in danger Yami gets upset and normally his power shakes things up a bit. :-) He isn't a vindictive person in this mini-series though so he's not going to like always bite off people's heads if they shake hands with Yuugi or anything. That's just not his character as I view him anyway. But don't worry, he cares for Yuugi more than anything.
AmberEyes23: I'm glad you liked it! Yeah, you don't see Yuugi as the seme much, that's true. And I feel that in their deep relationship they should be able to…switch positions once in a while. After all, they protect each other. Oh, there's only going to be one more sequel. I will be writing other Yu-Gi-Oh stories though.
SilverWing147: Yep! There's a sequel sequel. But it's the last one to this mini-series. There won't be another, however I will be writing other Yu-Gi-Oh stories. I'm glad you liked the Ryou/Bakura moments. I feel that sometimes when people write Ryou/Bakura relationships they either make Bakura abusive to him or he goes completely soft on him. I think neither really, in my opinion. Bakura is just…mysterious. Anyway, more romance in the sequel!
Yamiyugifanadic: Hehehe, yeah actually I wasn't planning a sequel until I was nearing the end of this. I realized that there IS a problem with the immortality thing because it can't possibly be that easy being since Yuugi and Ryou are human. Sooooooooo, yes, but the sequel will be the last of this mini-series. Lol! Yes, Yuugi's a bit curious but I believe since his more intimate side was opened up that he would want to experiment. I mean, Yuugi isn't a child and I don't like how some people make him childish in many stories based on because he's small and looks vulnerable. In the series he's as strong as Yami so I feel the need to show that he's not a child. Anywhoo, more romance in the sequel, yay!
Sansi: That is a very interesting observation. Yami seems more like he doesn't initiate things, but he does more subtly. The way he treats Yuugi is gentle and slow so that he doesn't overwhelm him. He waits until Yuugi is ready to progress in anything, especially their relationship. That's what I wanted to show. Yami seems more laidback because he's able to control anger, his powers, and he's not a vindictive or overly dominating person. However, when Yuugi's been in danger he's gotten upset so it shows there. I know, It's hard to see sometimes, but he is very overprotective toward Yuugi. :-)
Desert Rose: That sounds fun! I used to be in choir. My voice is kind of…out of tune now, but it's still fun to sing loudly while driving. :-) Glad your arm is okay! And I'm glad you like this story. Hopefully the sequel will be just as interesting.
Atemu Yugi Lover34: Aww, thanks. Yes, it was my first attempt writing yaoi with them. And it will be with Ryou and Bakura too in the sequel. I'm glad it was pretty good though. There will be plenty of romance in the sequel, don't worry! Lol! Yes, the sequel has everything to do with the Eternal Gem, but there will be some side issues as well. Don't do too many chores at once, trust me it's not good for your health. :-)
DarkNileStallion: I'm so glad you like my Yu-Gi-Oh stories! Especially since it's my first time writing anything to do with the series. WOW! You are the only one who remembered the duel between Yuugi and Seto! I actually wasn't going to include it at all because it wasn't important to the plot. But it fits right in with the sequel. At first there wasn't going to be a sequel until I realized that immortality can't possibly be that easy. As I started getting closer to the end of this story I realized that there was a plot hole and I got an idea to fill that hole now, so that's why there's a sequel. And you will see the duel, finally:-)
Russa: Oh, don't worry, I have computer problems ALL the time. I just had to buy powerpoint today for like 200 dollars! MAN this world is expensive these days. And all for my final exam. Anywhoo, I know what you mean. Yaoi is okay to me in writing, but to see it or really analyze it, it's still a bit weird, so I understand how you feel. However, imagining the characters in your own head, through writing, makes it better because you can make it however you want it. But don't worry, although there's much fluffy romance continued in the sequel, there will only be like two lemons at most, if that. Otherwise, it's back to the innocently fluffy stuff.
Celeste-The-Hikari: Hehehehe! I know what you mean. The first time I actually started reading yaoi, I think it was with a Gundam Wing story, I made a noise too, realizing that in writing you can imagine it however you want so it's not disturbing. :-) My mom heard my squeal and asked if I was alright and I told her I bumped my knee on the desk, lol! I understand completely that you were more interested in Ryou/Bakura, because they have an unusual relationship. It's more mysterious and it's not as concrete as Yuugi and Yami's. Not to mention because their relationship is just starting to bloom. I am thinking about putting a lemon between Ryou and Bakura in the sequel. :-) Yes, the end is coming up; there will only be one more sequel, which I'm pretty sure won't be as long as this story and after that this mini-series will have ended, but I will be planning on writing other Yu-Gi-Oh stories. Thanks for sticking with me!
SpufFan: Oh good, I'm so glad you're excited! I really hope the sequel will finalize everything and be just as good as these two stories! Thanks!