This chapter was the one, out of the three, that took me the longest to write. Not because it was hard to write, I actually, mostly, enjoyed myself writing it. But it took awhile because I ended up getting a job when I was working on this chapter, and had that job for almost a year. But now, I just recently lost that job, and am back to looking for a new one. And now, that I have more free time again, I am trying to play catch up on everything that I put off a year ago.
Again, in this chapter I got a bit creative with a certain something from Sailor Moon. I hope all of you don't mind that much with me playing around with it. And if you don't like it, well…it doesn't really matter because it's going to stay that way anyway.
Now, on with the chapter. I hope all of you enjoy it.
As they were riding through town, Sere, finally, came out of her thoughts and told Darien that she was hungry and that she wanted to stop and get something to eat. She really was hungry, but she had also come to a decision and figured if they stopped to get something to eat she could have the time to tell him of her decision. She just didn't know how he would take it, she was thinking that he probably just wanted to get back to Tokyo and back home.
It didn't take them to long to find a place to stop at to get some dinner. Once inside, Sere went to find them a place to sit, while Darien went and ordered the food. Sere wasn't sitting there for very long when Darien showed up with dinner. They ate in silence for awhile, until Sere worked up the courage to tell Darien of her decision.
"Darien…?" Sere started, wondering how to voice her request.
"What is it?" Darien asked, noticing her hesitance.
"If…" Sere started, then took a deep breath, then tried again. "If it's alright with you, I would like to say my goodbyes to my new friends before we leave."
After some silence, it would seem that Darien was thinking it over, then he gave his answer. "I suppose we can do that." Darien said, and then a thought hit him. "Do you know where they would be right now?"
That's when it hit Sere that they had a problem. "No I don't." Sere answered, a bit sad at the thought. "The last place I knew of was the dock, but they're probably not there anymore. I don't think that they would've stuck around that place for very long."
"Do you have any idea where they might have gone?" Darien asked, figuring that she, at least, deserved to say goodbye to the ones that had helped her.
"I can think of a few." Sere answered, after she thought about it a bit. "But, one of them, I don't know where it will be."
"Where what will be?" Darien questioned, wondering what she was referring to.
"They would most likely be heading to where the Finals of the Tournament will be held." Sere answered. "But, I don't know where that will be. The location for the Finals was kept a secret; you had to make it into the Finals to find out where it would be held."
"And your friends are taking part in this tournament?" Darien asked, trying to make sure he had everything straight.
"Yes, two of them." Sere answered, confirming that he had it right.
"And you think that one of them will be at the Finals?" Darien asked, getting down to the point now.
"I know for sure that Joey has qualified for the Finals." Sere explained. "And I wouldn't be surprised if Yugi has qualified as well."
There was silence between the two of them for a few moments, as it would seem that Darien was thinking things over. "Ok, then." Darien said, gaining her attention, as he seemed to have come to a decision. "After we finish eating, we'll ride around for awhile and see if we can find them, at the same time, keeping an eye out for where the finals of a tournament could be held."
"Ok." Sere agreed, nodding her head.
With that taken care of they went back to eating dinner, once again, eating in silence. It didn't take them to much longer to finish eating. And just when they were getting ready to leave, they looked up just as someone came through the door, or in this case, many someones.
"It's them…" Sere said, somewhat shocked and surprised that they would find them before they even started looking.
"Sere, you're alright!" Joey said, obviously having had heard her, as he quickly made his way over to her, at the same time grabbing the attention of the rest of the group. When he was half way there, he stopped in his tracks; he had finally noticed who she was with. "YOU!" Joey started to make his way over to Sere again, this time, intent on dealing with the guy again. "Back to try again since she was alone?!"
"Joey, wait!" Sere said, getting in front of Joey to stop him before he could get too far. "His name is Darien." That caught their attention.
"Does that mean you remember?" Yugi asked, from next to Joey, having put two and two together.
Sere nodded to the question before answering. "Yeah, I remember, I have my memories back."
"That's great!" Yugi cheerfully said, with a smile on his face, then changed the topic. "I was afraid that Marik had gotten you too."
"He did." Sere simply answered.
"Then how…?" Yugi started to ask.
"I was able to escape." Sere answered.
"Did he…?" Yugi started to ask, again.
"He tried." Sere answered, but continued before Yugi had a chance to try and ask another question. "But, I think that might be how I got my memories back."
"Really?" Joey asked, a bit of disbelief in his voice.
"Yeah, it was something that I thought over for awhile after I escaped." Sere explained.
"As if this isn't a nice reunion and all, but who is she?" Mai asked, figuring that now was a good time to get her question answered.
"I've been wondering the same thing." Duke admitted, though, not being as direct about it as Mai was.
"Oh, sorry." Yugi apologized. "I guess we all got a bit carried away for awhile there." Yugi then turned to Sere, to introduce the people she hadn't met yet. "Sere, this is Mai, Duke, and Joey's sister, Serenity." Then Yugi turned to the three of them to introduce Sere. "And this is…well…we've been calling her Sere, since we don't really know what her name was."
"And it was your name, Sis, that she reacted to." Joey explained. "So, it was Sere for short."
"And I haven't been called Serenity for a very long time." Sere admitted. "And Sere is close to what I have been going by the most. Though, to be honest, I think I've gotten rather attached to Sere."
"So, what is the name you were going by before?" Tristan asked.
"Serena." Sere answered. "The name I was going by before was Serena." Then Sere turned to Joey's sister. "I always thought about coming to visit you at your hospital room. But, Tristan seemed to want that honor for himself."
"Hey!" Tristan almost shouted, acting like the accusation had nothing to do with him. The only thing Sere did in response was to raise an eyebrow and put on an innocent look on her face, as if she didn't believe him.
That's when Darien put his hand on her shoulder. When Sere looked at him, she understood the look he was giving her, he wanted to get going. "Oh, right." Sere said, then turned her attention back to the others. "Darien wants to get going, and we were going to come looking for you guys, so I could, at least, say goodbye." Sere seemed a bit sad as she explained that.
"You're leaving?" Tristan said, somewhat shocked, and it would seem that he wasn't the only one. "Already?"
"Yeah, we should be getting back to Tokyo." Sere explained, still with a bit of a sad look on her face. Then she turned to face Darien. "But, there is one more thing I'd like to do before we leave." Before Darien could answer, Sere turned back to the group, and specifically Joey. "Joey, would you mind…could we talk, alone?"
"Sure." Joey agreed, nodding his head.
"Thanks." Sere said, and lead him outside, to a spot where they wouldn't be seen and wouldn't be overheard.
"What is it that you wanted to talk about? Is there something wrong?" Joey asked, once Sere had deemed it safe to talk. "If that guy…!" But, Joey didn't get too much further before Sere stopped him by butting in.
"You don't need to worry about Darien." Sere said, though Joey didn't seem all that convinced. "Really, you don't need to worry about him. He came here from Tokyo to look for me because he was worried about me. When I didn't come back, I probably worried everyone." That last part was more of a mumble to herself than to Joey.
There was silence between the two of them for awhile, until Joey decided to drop the matter. "So, what did you want to talk about?"
"I wanted to tell you something…well, it would probably be easier to show you…" Sere, somewhat, explained, then changed the topic a bit. "But, I want to ask you something first."
"Ask away." Joey said, a little more cheerful now. After a moment or two of waiting for the question, Joey had noticed that Sere seemed to be hesitating a bit. "What is it?"
"I hope you don't mind me asking…" Sere started to ask, finally figuring out how she wanted to word this. "But, I was wondering what…if you remember anything from the Duel you had with Yugi at that dock."
"You were there?" Joey asked, surprised.
"After I had escaped, I had a lot to think about, especially with my memories being back." Sere answered, not really looking at Joey as she talked. "But, I ended up realizing that I couldn't just leave you there like that, and, at the time, I had no idea if Tea was still there or not. So, I ended up going back to that warehouse, to look for you, and probably Tea too. But, there was just one problem, when I got back to the warehouse, no one was there anymore. That's when I went searching the docks nearby to see if I could find anything."
"And that's when you found us Dueling." Joey said, starting to see where she was going with this.
"Yes, but not right off." Sere answered, confirming that he was right. "I think it was about the third or fourth dock that I searched when I found you guys Dueling."
"You got to understand, it wasn't…" Joey started to say, but he was cut off, again.
"It wasn't you." Sere said, interrupting Joey. "It was Marik controlling you." That's when Sere looked at Joey. "I got there just in time to see Yugi give you the Puzzle."
"Yea, most of that Duel is still mostly fuzzy to me." Joey admitted. "But, the first thing I remember clearly was near the end of the Duel. I was confused by the fact I was wearing the Puzzle and Yug' was telling me that he was going to sacrifice himself so that I'd be alright."
"I see." Sere said, once again, not looking at Joey. "I didn't know what he was saying to you." Sere noticed that Joey seemed a bit confused by that, when she glanced up at him. "I wasn't close enough to hear what was being said." Then Sere tilted her head a bit, as something else came to mind. "You know, you almost threw a piece of the Puzzle into the ocean."
"Really?" Joey asked, seeming a bit surprised and curious now.
"Yeah, but you seemed to be having a hard time with going through with the action." Sere explained. "But, in the end, you put the piece of the Puzzle back where it should be."
"Practically a repeat of how Yug' and I became friends." Joey mumbled, more to himself than to Sere.
"Really?" Sere asked, now it was her turn to be a bit surprised and curious.
"Yea." Joey answered, somewhat surprised that Sere had heard him. "Back then, it was before Yug' and I were friends, I ended up throwing a piece of the Puzzle into the school's pool. In the end, I fished it out of the pool to give it back to him."
"Well, that's interesting. I bet that's why you couldn't go through with it this time. Marik probably never expected that to be a repeat of something that had already happened." Sere contemplated, but, then turned back to her original topic. "Anyway, when you put that piece of the Puzzle back, that was when I realized something."
"Ya did?" Joey asked, wondering what she could be referring to.
"Well, I guess you could say that it was more like I noticed something." Sere explained. "You see, there were times that I kept getting this feeling of something from Yugi, but it was only from time to time, but never stuck around for very long. It wasn't until you took that piece of the Puzzle out and then put it back in that I noticed that that feeling I sometimes get didn't come from Yugi at all, it came from the Puzzle. Because, when you took that piece out, I felt like something was missing, but, then, when you put it back, that feeling came right back. It got me to thinking, and I realized that there was something special about the Puzzle." Sere paused for a moment, when something else came to mind. "It also gave me an idea."
"'An idea'?" Joey questioned, he had no idea what she could be referring to.
"Yes." Sere answered. "An idea as to how I could help to try and release you from Marik's control."
"How could you…?" Joey started to ask, but was cut off again.
"That's why I was wondering what you remembered of what had happened." Sere explained. "Especially, of what you remember happening within your own mind."
"Within my mind?" Joey asked, wondering why she would want to know that of all things.
"Yes." Sere answered. "I wish to show you something, but I wanted to know what you remembered first."
"Well, like I said, most of that is still fuzzy, except for the very end." Joey said, repeating what he had said before.
"Does anything specific jump out at you from what you can remember?" Sere asked, a part of her hoping that he did.
"Not really." Joey answered, not to long after Sere had asked. Then Joey paused for a moment or two, he seemed to be thinking about something, as if a thought just accrued to him. "Actually, now that I think about it, I think that someone was there with me, but I don't know how that would be possible."
Sere stared at him for a little while, as if she were searching for something, before she spoke. "Then, perhaps, something familiar will help you remember." With that said, Sere took a couple of steps back away from Joey, closed her eyes and concentrated. It didn't take very long for her to look just like her past self, the Moon Princess. She kept her eyes closed for a few more moments before opening them again, looking right at Joey. "The one you thought that was there with you in your mind was me." It would seem, with that revelation, that Joey didn't quite know how to react to that, other than with some shock. Joey seemed to be stuck trying to comprehend what she had admitted, plus the sight before him. Since it didn't seem that Joey was going to be snapping out of the state he was in anytime soon, so Sere decided to take matters into her own hands, as she calmly walked up to Joey and lightly tapped Joey on the cheek twice, hoping that that would snap him out of it. And it seemed to work.
"How…?" Joey started to ask, but didn't really know how to word what he wanted to ask. But, Sere had a feeling that she knew what he wanted to know, and that was how she was able to do what she had done, both now and during the Duel.
"It started when I realized that the Puzzle was special." Sere started to explain. "It reminded me that I had something that is special to."
"You do?" Joey asked, a bit surprised by that, then another thought hit him. "It isn't a Millennium Item, is it?" He almost seemed wary of the idea.
"No, it's not." Sere answered, shaking her head, with a bit of a smile on her face. "It's something else, but it also has a power of its own."
"What is it then?" Joey asked, curious now.
"It's something from a long time ago." Sere answered, but Joey looked as if he didn't like that answer.
"I probably could've guessed that." Joey mumbled, more to himself than to Sere.
"Yes, well, I suppose that you are quite use to things form the past coming back to the present." Sere commented, with a bit of a smile on her face, finding this a bit amusing. "I'll show it to you if you promise not to touch it." Sere had decided that she would show the Silver Crystal to Joey, so long as he kept the promise not to touch it. She really didn't want to risk his life with it if he were to touch it and not be able to handle the power from it, even from a simple touch.
"What is it that I can't touch?" Joey asked, curious and a bit wary about what it was that Sere was going to show him. Curious, because, he was wondering what it could be. Wary, because, it sounded like it could be dangerous.
"Please, just promise." Sere said, sounding as if she were half begging and half trying not to sigh.
"Alright." Joey said, raising his hands up in front of himself, in the universal sign of innocence, of being unarmed, and of peace; in essence, he was giving into her request. "I won't touch…whatever it is."
Before she did anything else, Sere seemed to just stare at Joey for a little while, as if searching for something, before she excepted him at his word. Once Sere found what she was looking for, and nodded, accepting what Joey said as the promise she was looking for. Now that Sere had the promise that she had asked for, Sere cupped her hands together and put her cupped hands to her chest, and began to summon the Crystal to her hands. As she felt that the Crystal was there, in her hands now, she started to move her hands from her chest, and started to part her hands a bit so that the Crystal could be seen, floating there, between her hands. Sere looked at Joey for a few seconds, before looking down at the Silver Crystal in her hands, having noticed that Joey's attention was on the Crystal. "This crystal is known as the Silver Imperium Crystal, otherwise known as the Silver Crystal for short. It has also been referred to as the Key to the Universe." Sere explained, finally talking.
"So, why can't I touch it?" Joey asked, curiosity finally getting the better of him. This…crystal…really didn't look all that dangerous, now that he has seen it.
"Trust me; you really don't want to know." Was all Sere said in reply, not really wanting to get into it.
"You said that it had a power of its own?" Joey asked, deciding to drop the previous topic, noticing that Sere really didn't want to talk about it.
"Yes, it does." Sere answered, still looking down at the Crystal in her hands, somewhat appearing lost in thought. But, than, her gaze snapped back up to look at Joey. Sere noticed that he was still looking at the Crystal in her hands. "This is what I used to try and help you." That got his attention, as he instantly looked at Sere after she had said that.
"Wha'…?" Joey said, that one word being the first word out of his mouth. It took, at least, a couple more seconds for him to actually process what Sere had just told him. "How?"
"It can do many things, most of which I don't really know about until it happens." Sere started to explain, not really knowing how to describe what the Crystal could do and put it into words. "What I usually do is cannel my own power through it. But, it does take a toll on the one using it." Sere watched Joey as she explained, or at least tried to explain the best she could. But, as she watched, she noticed that Joey was trying to understand what she said, he really did try, but since she, herself, didn't understand everything that the Crystal could do, it must have been tough for someone else to try and understand it. That's when an idea came to her. If she couldn't explain it, then she could show him instead. Sere took that moment to close her eyes and concentrated a little bit on the Crystal and released it, letting it return to where it usually does when she wasn't using it. Then Sere opened her eyes once more and looked at Joey again for a couple of seconds, thinking of how she was going to go about this. Once she came to a decision, she reached up and put a hand on his shoulder. "It will probably be better if I show you."
"Show?" Joey repeated, wondering what she could be talking about.
"Yes." Sere said, confirming that he had heard right.
"But…how? Joey asked, still not understanding what she was getting at.
"By showing you some of my own memories." Serena simply answered, as if the idea should've been obvious. But, then she noticed that Joey was still consumed, and before he could ask how again, she went on to explain exactly how she was going to go about it. But, first, she wanted to be sure of something first. "You do trust me, yes?"
"Of course." Joey answered, thinking that that question didn't really need to be asked. He may not have known her for very long, but he did trust her.
"Then put her forehead to mine, then close your eyes, and I'll show you." Sere explained, with a small smile, happy that he did trust her, and trusted her that much in such a short amount of time. The two of them stared at each other for a moment, or two, before anything did happen. Sere nudged him forward a bit to get him going, which he got the hint, and bent down to put his forehead to hers. Once they were touching, forehead to forehead, he closed his eyes, and waited to see what was going to happen next. It didn't take long for him to find out. When Joey was ready, Sere closed her eyes and concentrated on the memories that she wanted to show Joey, and sent them to him. After all, it was Luna who showed her this. Though, Luna had done it from a distance and had used it to awaken memories. Sere was just using the same idea, just in a different way.
The first thing that Sere showed Joey was the end of the Moon Kingdom, so he could see how Queen Serenity had used the Crystal. This was more of a recent memory, than a memory that she had of the past. After all, she had died before her mother had used the Crystal to seal Beryl away and send them all to Earth to be reborn. No, this was something that Queen Serenity herself had shown her. Sere had originally thought to only show him this one memory, but, in the end, there were, at least, two others that had come to mind that she should probably show him too.
The next thing that Sere showed Joey was the ultimate defeat of Beryl. Sere had chosen to show Joey this memory because of the fact that it wasn't just her that defeated Beryl; it was with the help of the rest of the Inner Scouts that she was able to defeat Beryl. This memory was to mainly show Joey that she could channel, not just her own power, but other people's power, that was given to her, thought the Crystal as well.
The third, and last, thing that Sere showed Joey was of more than one memory, it was more like a string of them. Sere had decided to show Joey of the time that she had used the Crystal to heal the Weird Sisters, the time that she had healed all four of them, when they had decided to leave their old lives behind and live decent and honest lives. The choice of using this point in time as the example of how she used the Crystal to heal came to her at the last moment, after all, she did use the Crystal quiet a lot to heal others. This also seemed like a good example to use, after all, in this example of the Crystal's use, was being used without the use of the Crescent Moon Wand.
When the last of the memories came to an end, without opening her eyes, Sere slightly pushed on Joey's shoulder with her hand, silently telling him he could stand up straight again. And that's exactly what he did. When he was standing straight again, Joey opened his eyes and looked at Sere. The first thing he noticed was that she still had her eyes closed.
"I suppose you're right." Joey said, trying to gain her attention.
"About what?" Sere answered, opening her eyes, looking up at him. He had succeeded in gaining her attention.
"I suppose I shouldn't really have to worry about…him." Joey explained, remembering what he was shown in the first memory, of whom it was that tried to protect her, ending with both of them dying.
"His name is Darien, Joey." Sere said, reminding him of what Darien's name was. She didn't think that he had forgotten, but more like he didn't want to admit it.
"Yea, yea." Joey said, trying to avoid the idea of calling him by name, he really didn't want to do so. He still didn't really trust the guy.
Sere seemed a bit confused by that reply, but then it hit her. It took a moment for Sere to realize why Joey was acting like that. She had to smile when she realized why, he was just looking out for her was all, of course he was going to be hard on Darien. "I'm not your sister, Joey." Sere said, as if trying to remind him of this little fact. "I may have had the same name as her a long time ago, but I am not your sister."
"You might as well be." Joey mumbled in reply, then went on to make his point. "But, you are Yugi's sister, that practically makes you family already."
That's when Sere got a bit of a sad look in her eyes. "Yugi and his Grandfather took me in when I needed it, yes. They may have let me use their last name, yes." Sere started to explain. "But, that's all it was, they took me in and took care of me until I was better."
"That isn't true!" Joey said, not expecting an answer like that. "You know that they consider you apart of the family, whether it be legal or not, that doesn't matter to them!"
All Sere did was sigh to this. She didn't say anything more, she knew she wasn't going to get anywhere with this topic of conversation. So, she decided to change the topic of conversation. Besides, they were getting off topic again anyway. "There's something else that I need to tell you." Sere stated, trying to get things back on track.
"Huh?" Joey said, a bit confused, not expecting such a sudden change of topic. It didn't take him very long to wrap his mind around the idea of the sudden change. "And what's that?"
"I had a bit of help when I was trying to help you." Sere tried to explain, still trying to figure out how to go about this, after all, Sere didn't know how much Joey already knew about it.
"Yea, you already explained that. You had that Crystal of yours helping you." Joey explained, what he thought Sere was talking about.
"I'm not talking about the Crystal this time." Sere stated, bursting Joey's bubble. "I was referring to something else other than the Crystal."
That seemed to make him a bit confused. "Wha'…" Joey started to say, having no idea what she was referring to.
"You were wearing the Puzzle at the time." Sere pointed out, cutting Joey off before he could get started, and gave him a hint as to his answer.
"The Puzzle?" Joey repeated, still trying to figure out what Sere was hinting at. After a moment, it hit him. "The Pharaoh!" After that outburst, Joey turned his attention back to Sere. "The Pharaoh helped you?"
Sere couldn't help but smile a bit after Joey's outburst. She should've known that he would know about the Spirit of the Puzzle. "Yes, he did. In the very limited way he could, being away from Yugi like he was."
"What do you mean?" Joey asked, confused, and a bit curious. "How did the Pharaoh help?"
"You were wearing the Puzzle at the time." Sere pointed out. "He wanted to be able to do more at the time, but he did the only thing he could…at that point in time." Sere gave a small sigh to herself before continuing, at the same time, trying to hash out how she was going to explain this. "He helped me out by showing me the way to you. In other words, he was my guide."
"He guided you to me?" Joey asked, still confused. He was more confused than curious now.
"Yes." Sere answered, then went on to explain just how it happened. "You see, since you were wearing the Puzzle and since I had noticed something special about the Puzzle, I focused on it to get to you. But, since I was focusing on the Puzzle more, I ended up there, instead of in your mind." Sere had to stop a bit and smile a little at the memory of it all. "That's how I met the Pharaoh. I told him what happened and what I was trying to do. He told me where I was and that there was only one way that he could help me, and that was to guide me to you. He also told me that he couldn't come with me, only that he could point me in the right direction. And, that's exactly what he did, then the next thing I know is that I'm in your mind, trying to help you."
"You ended up in the Puzzle?" Joey asked, a bit surprised when Sere mentioned that part.
"Yes." Sere answered. "That's what I get for focusing on the Puzzle more." For some reason, Sere wasn't all that surprised that Joey picked up on that part, more so than the rest of her explanation.
"What's it like being in the Puzzle?" Joey asked, a bit excited at the thought of finding out what the inside of the Puzzle was like. This made Sere wonder if Joey had heard anything else she had said. But, she knew that he did, this was just Joey being Joey.
"Joey…" Sere said, in a way that said that they didn't have the time for this. This ended up reminding Joey of Tea a bit, but he kept that to himself.
"Alright, alright." Joey said, pretty much agreeing with Sere that they didn't have the time. "You can tell me later then?"
Sere just gave him a look that said to just forget about asking her about it. "Why don't you just ask the Pharaoh yourself?" Sere suggested, hoping that Joey would get the hint and just drop it.
"I suppose…" Joey started to say, but Sere cut him off before he could really get started.
"Speaking of the Pharaoh, I asked him for a favor." Sere said, gaining Joey's full attention.
"Really?" Joey asked, surprised. "What did you ask him?"
"To keep all of this to himself." Sere explained, not too sure how Joey was going to take that.
"Why?" Joey asked, a bit confused. He was wondering why Sere would ask the Pharaoh to do that.
"Could you also keep all of this to yourself?" Sere asked, ignoring Joey's question.
"Why?" Joey repeated his question, still not understanding why Sere would want to keep all of this to herself.
Sere gave a sigh to this. He wasn't going to give her a choice in this. "Because…" Sere started to say, trying not to sigh again, as she looked at Joey. "I'm not ready for the others to know yet."
"But…" Joey started to say, still not quite understanding her reasoning. "The others won't care…"
"Joey…" Sere said, cutting Joey off. "I know. It's just that I'm not ready yet." Sere paused to make sure she had Joey's full attention before continuing. "Please…let me decide when to tell the others?"
"Alright." Joey agreed, after a few moments, he was a bit reluctant to do so, but it was her choice.
"Thank you, Joey." Sere said, truly grateful that Joey had agreed. After a moment Sere realized that the two of them had been out there talking for awhile now, and it was probably time to go. "We should probably be getting back. I'm a little surprised that no one has come looking for us yet."
"Now that you mention it…" Joey said, agreeing with Sere, now realizing how long it has been since they had left for their private chat. "It's a bit surprised that Tristan hasn't come looking for us." Joey paused for a moment, when an afterthought hit him. "Then again, Tristan is probably too busy dealing with…'him'."
Sere caught how Joey said that last word, as well as how he delayed in saying it. It would seem that Joey really didn't want to accept Darien just yet. "Joey…" Sere said, in a way that suggested that Joey should behave.
"Yea, yea…" Joey said, practically brushing off what had just happened. Then Joey continued, as if nothing had happened. "Let's go back inside."
"Right." Sere said, agreeing but also said it in a slight way that suggested that she didn't, for a second, believe that Joey had dropped the idea of behaving with Darien. Sere could tell that Joey was still going to make trouble for Darien. All Sere could really do was sigh and slightly shake her head at Joey's antics, as she followed him back inside.
Once the two of them were back inside, it didn't take long to see what kind of trouble Joey was going to cause for Darien, as the first thing that Joey did when they got back inside was to make a b-line straight for Darien. Joey walked over to Darien with a determined and serious look on his face, and just stood there in front of him for a few moments, just staring at him, almost as if he were sizing him up or trying to impart on how important this one moment really was.
"If you hurt her, in any way, I'll hunt you down." Joey said, making sure that Darien understood. Sere may not have been with there little group for very long, but that didn't mean that she wasn't their friend still. He still cared about her after all.
"What do you mean, Joey?" Yugi asked, a bit confused by the threat that Joey had just dished out.
"He's Sere's boyfriend." Joey answered, looking over at Yugi now. He still didn't like this tidbit of the revelation very much. That's when it hit everyone as to why this guy had been looking for Sere in the first place, and why he had been so adamant about it.
"I'm sorry about the way things happened before, back at the game shop." Yugi said, being the first one to really say anything. "But, we didn't know about that at the time, and Sere didn't really recognize you either."
"It's alright, I understand." Darien said, he really did understand the position they were in. "And thank you for looking out for her when I couldn't be there."
"It wasn't just me." Yugi admitted.
"Yeah, all of us helped." Tea explained.
"Then, thank you, all of you." Darien said, thanking the group at large. Then Darien turned his attention back to Joey. "And you don't have to worry, I won't hurt her. I thank you for looking after her."
"You better not." Joey said, still not willing to be friendly with Darien.
"Serena, we should be going." Darien stated, turning to Sere. "Finish saying your goodbyes, then we'll leave."
"Right." Sere said, trying not to sigh. She really didn't want to do this, but she knew she had to. The first person she ended up going to was Joey, mainly because he was the closest one. The first thing Sere did was to give Joey a hug. "Thanks, Joey."
"Hey, I'd do it all over again." Joey said, returning the hug.
Sere then moved onto Yugi next. "Thanks, Yugi. And, I mean that." Sere said, giving Yugi a hug as well. "Can you thank your Grandpa for me?'
"You should tell him yourself." Yugi replied, gladly returning Sere's hug.
"I know I should, but…" Sere started to say, but couldn't finish.
"I know, you can't stay for much longer." Yugi said, understanding why she had asked. "I'll tell Grandpa for you."
"Thank you." Sere said, still wishing that she could tell Yugi's Grandpa herself, but knew that Yugi would do so for her. Then Sere moved onto Tristan next, giving him the same treatment of a hug. "Thanks, Tristan."
"I'm glad we could help." Tristan said, giving Sere a hug in return.
Sere then turned to Tea next. "Thanks, Tea." Sere said, also giving her a hug.
"It was nice having you around." Tea said, returning Sere's hug. "I just wish you could stay longer."
"Me too." Sere admitted, ending the hug. Then Sere turned to Joey's sister, Serenity. "I'm glad I finally got to meet you in person." Sere said, giving Serenity a hug too. "And I really did mean what I said about wanting to visit you in your hospital room."
"I know." Serenity replied, returning Sere's hug. "I'm glad I got to meet someone that shares the same name as me."
This put a smile on Sere's face, as she ended the hug. "Even if it's a name I haven't used in a long time?" Sere couldn't help herself but ask.
"It's still your name, even if you don't go by it anymore." Serenity answered, with a smile on her face as well.
Sere and Serenity shared a smile for a bit longer, before Sere moved onto the only people she had yet to talk to. Sere turned to Mai and Duke next. "I know that we haven't gotten the chance to get to know each other, but I am glad that I, at least, got the chance to meet the both of you." Sere said, giving a slight bow to the both of them. Sere gave them both a small smile before turning to face the group at large. "I really am grateful that I got to know all of you." Sere said, trying to keep herself together while she was saying all of this. "I just wish I didn't have to leave so soon."
"Maybe you can come and visit sometime." Tea suggested, trying to make the mood of the group seem a little bit brighter.
"And I know that Grandpa would like to see you again." Yugi said, adding in his two cents.
"I will try." Sere said, looking at the two of them with a small smile, trying not to seem so sad.
The moment was broken by Darien putting his hand on Sere's shoulder, causing her to look up at him. "Serena, we should be going." Darien said, trying not to sound like the bad guy, taking her away from them.
"I know." Sere answered, trying not to sound sad about leaving her new friends so suddenly. Sere then turned to the group at large again. "Again, thank you, all of you." With one last smile to the group, Sere nodded to Darien and the two of them left.
I hope you all enjoyed the chapter. I have been referring to these three chapters as the turning point. I've been waiting forever to write these three chapters, and I enjoyed getting written out. Now, to get to the next big thing with this story.
One more thing, don't expect the next chapter for this story to be out anytime soon. These three chapters have been already written before I posted them. The next chapter is still being written, though, so it will be awhile before it is posted.