Title: Louder than Words part 1
Author: Sorceress Fantasia
Warnings: Sap, romance, fluff
Disclaimer: A wild cat snuck into my house and crapped on my chequebook that I had whipped out so I could buy the rights to YGO. As I'm waiting for a new chequebook from the bank and prevent myself from skinning the cat, I have to say I don't own YGO in any way. I do own this ficcy though.
Intro: Yami's been figuring how to confess his feelings to Yugi for the longest time now, and he gets distracted or interrupted every time he tries. A sports meet at school might just be the solution to all his problems...
"Yugi baby, why don't we hook up and do some serious loving?"
No, that was so cheesy he would never be able to say that out loud without snickering himself to death.
"Darling Yugi, what say we fall in love now?"
He shivered at the lameness. Looking at himself in the mirror, he tried to strike another cool pose. Not liking it, he stepped back a little and crossed his arms. Nope, he looked like he was angry at something. He tried again. Finally settling into a pose he thought looked pretty good, he spoke to himself in the mirror again.
"Yugi buttercup, are you taking any applications for a boyfriend?" Silence. "Argh!"
Completely disgusted with himself, Yami stumbled and plopped himself onto his bed. Burying his face in his hands, he groaned at his utter failure. He was sure his mirror image was already laughing at him for being so pathetic. Oh gods... why couldn't he just stick with 'Dearest Yugi, will you be my boyfriend?' Of course, Jou had claimed that that was just too plain. A confession was supposed to be so sweet, so sappy it sent people to the dentist for cavities. And he was not allowed to use the mind link because it was simply unreal; the words /had/ to be spoken out loud for maximum impact. Yami's eyes twitched. Suddenly, he wondered if asking Jou and Honda for romantic advice was the best idea.
But he was desperate, damn it!
If he asked Ryou, Bakura would no doubt eavesdrop and then he would laugh in his face for the rest of their existence. Asking Anzu was also a big no-no, since she would probably get that starry look in her eyes and shoot him with ideas like a trigger-happy woman with a machine gun. There was nothing more he regretted than asking for her help to get Yugi's Christmas present last year. Mokuba was much too young, and Kaiba would probably just brush him off... after calling him pathetic, that is. Otogi seemed like a good place to start, but he just had to be away in USA for his Dungeon Dice Monsters, didn't he!?
Yami groaned again, thinking back to how his dilemma started.
It had been innocent enough.
After retrieving his memories from the recreated world, Yami had finally figured out a way to obtain a physical body and so he declined moving on to Anubis' realm. With a few well-timed puppy eyes from Mokuba and Yugi, Kaiba had relented and created a set of documents for the ex-pharaoh that went from his birth certificate to his education progression. With the documents, Yami was officially, a citizen of Domino, Japan and even a student of Domino High School. Everyone had been ecstatic then, knowing that it meant that he was actually going to stay; they had honestly thought that Yami would choose to go on to the afterlife, after going through so much. But he had made his choice, and no one was going to protest. They made a riot instead, gathering at Yugi's place to celebrate. Even Kaiba had turned up to congratulate his rival, though one would probably have to redefine 'congratulate' from the way the businessman did it. To make things better, and to mark the day of his so-called 'rebirth', Sugoroku jii-san had cleared out the guest room and gave it to Yami.
'I suppose you're old enough to want to have a bit of privacy, and you probably won't have any if you keep sharing a room with Yugi,' he said simply.
Yami was elated, and apparently, so was Yugi. In his elation, Yugi had jumped into Yami's arms much like a bouncing bunny with too much sugar in his blood stream and just hugged him around the waist tightly. It took a while for the idea to sink in, but Yami soon realized that he loved having his hikari in his arms. The hug was warm, tender, and safe. He loved it.
Then he finally let his mind to wander back to his days of sharing a body with Yugi, and he finally understood what was the heartwarming and bittersweet emotion that had been coursing through his veins all along.
He had the world's biggest crush on his little hikari. And that crush never faded; instead, it was nurtured with every smile, every hug, and every encouraging word from Yugi. In fact, the moment the little one first hugged him, Yami knew that he didn't just love having Yugi in his arms. He loved Yugi, as a friend, as a yami, and as a man. He wanted to stay with him forever, and hopefully, love him forever, if his hikari would allow it.
Once he realized his feelings, he had set about confessing to Yugi. The only problem was how. He remembered someone telling him about how 'actions spoke louder than words', and so he took what he thought was the subtle approach, showering the younger one with affection. Sometimes it was just a matter of preparing Yugi's favourite food, helping him with his homework, giving him a few presents or just a few more smiles directed at him. Other times, he focused more on the emotional aspects, hugging Yugi when the little one was upset, lending him a listening ear or even kissing his forehead to let him know he was cherished.
But apparently, the actions weren't loud enough. Yugi either didn't pick up on his silent flirting, or he just didn't care. Everyone, Kaiba included, assured him it was the former. The young teen just wasn't used to such flirting, and probably thought it was the usual doting Yami always gave him. It was just that the doting became more physical since he finally had his own body.
And so, Yami decided to reconsider his strategy and just confess his feelings with words. Simply put, he was going to say his love for Yugi out loud. That way, he thought, there would be no chances of Yugi not understanding. But the problem was: what to say? His idea of a confession was, in Jou's blunt comments, too plain. It really wasn't his fault though; as the pharaoh of Kemet, there had never been a need to say such things. Usually, his concubines were the ones worshipping him and sputtering how much they loved him. That probably deprived him of every last romantic bone in his body.
Now, six months later, he was still struggling with how to confess his feelings. He really was a sad, sad case, now that he really thought about it.
He shouted his frustration again.
Said boy nearly fell off his bed in surprise before he realized his hikari was talking to him via their mind link.
'Are you okay? I heard you shouting just now... You're not hurt, are you?'
Yami winced. He hadn't been doing such a good job of keeping his emotions to himself, if Yugi actually heard that. But at least he had made doubly sure that their link was completely shut down when he was rehearsing in front of the mirror earlier. It would be really embarrassing if Yugi heard him before he was ready to confess.
'I'm alright. Just having some... problems... with my math homework,' he answered awkwardly. He really hated to lie, especially when the other was Yugi. And the lie was just so... lame, he thought, gracing his nearly forgotten stack of homework still inside his bag with barely a sideward glance.
'Math? Yami, why don't you just come over to my room so we can solve it together? You always do that. Why not tonight?'
The dark being could hear the confusion, and even hurt, in the other's voice. Indeed, there was little excuse why he had chosen to stay in his room instead of going over to Yugi's to do their homework together like they always did. But he really didn't see how he could have time to practice his confession otherwise. After all, he spent nearly all his time with Yugi and other times with his other friends.
'Erm, it's okay. I'll be fine.'
He could tell Yugi wasn't convinced, but luckily, he let it go.
'If you say so...'
'Thank you, Hikari,' he replied, and then the link closed up again with nary a sound. Yugi probably thought he wanted his privacy, which was coincidentally true. Letting himself fall against his bed and feeling the soft comforters swallow him up, Yami sighed. He hated neglecting his little light.
Just a little while more, and he would say what he felt. And then he would be able to hang around his love again all the time.
Alright, he was ready. He was really going to do it. Today.
Yami took a deep breath, willing his raging heart to calm down. Everything was going to go well, he told himself, and there was really nothing to worry about. Even if anything /did/ happen, he would still be Yugi's darker half and they would still be the best of friends. Sure, some things might change –after all, it would be kinda hard to look at your best friend in the eye after they say that they like you more than just a friend- but overall, Yami really didn't think that anything would change /too/ much.
It was 9.10 am on a Sunday morning, so that meant that Yugi was probably already washing up and getting ready for the day. Perfect. He could talk to Yugi now, and give the younger one the whole day to think over it. Besides, his mind was probably still fresh from sleep, so it would be a really good time to talk to him now.
With that thought in mind, Yami strode confidently into Yugi's room, the way he always did. They never knocked on each other's door anymore.
He was about to say his piece when he noticed just what exactly was Yugi doing. With a sound akin to a squeak, he ducked out of the room with a mumbled message that he'd be waiting outside. Closing the door behind him, Yami put a hand over his pounding heart, feeling his rib cage's protest. His face was no doubt already burning a healthy shade of scarlet to match his eyes, and he could feel something stirring in the lower parts of his body.
Of all the blasted timing! He really should have knocked on the door first, or even just send Yugi a message over the mind link before entering. But –Yami grinned goofily – he did enjoy the show. A shirtless Yugi was definitely a big eye candy and divinely beautiful. The way the sunrays peeking into the room shone on his body much like an angelic halo, and the boy's fair, flawless complexion seemed to just accentuate his loveliness. Yami sighed appreciatively.
Said boy nearly jumped. He really hoped Yugi hadn't heard what he was thinking about.
'You can come in now.'
Taking another deep breath, Yami turned around and pushed the door open. This time, Yugi was fully dressed in his favourite tee-shirt and shorts, but the clothes did little to eclipse his beauty.
"Yami? What was it that had you coming into my room so early in the morning? Usually, you're still asleep at this time on Sunday..." Yugi asked curiously.
Yugi probably had no idea how cute he looked when he was curious. Yami had to force himself to calm down lest all his practice went to waste.
"Yugi, I have something really important to tell you." So far, so good.
"What is it, Yami?"
"Yugi, I... erm... I lik..."
Suddenly, like a roar in the midst of a jungle and scaring away all the nearby birds and other little animals in erratic flights, Sugoroku shouted from the bottom of the stairs.
"Yugi! Yami! Breakfast time! Come down now!"
And Yami's confidence plummeted into the deepest chasm possible. The timing was off, the atmosphere was gone, and worst of all, his façade was cracking.
Yugi must have noticed something wrong, but the mind link just wouldn't work because Yami was blocking him. Giving him a concerned look, he asked, "Yami? Are you alright?"
"Yeah... Erm, let's go down for breakfast."
If Yugi wanted to probe and ask just what the darker teen had wanted to tell him, another shout from downstairs prompted him to forget about it first and talk later. Pulling Yami along, he went down to the kitchen. In doing so, he completely missed the disappointed frown on Yami's face.
As though reorganizing his army after a defeat in battle, Yami went back to his room after breakfast to reconsider his confession strategy. Doing it in the morning wasn't the best idea he had ever had, in retrospect. Seeing Yugi half-naked was enough to blow away his mind, although that wasn't too bad a thing to see. If that wasn't enough, Sugoroku jii-san had the most impeccable timing...
He sighed. It was going to be hard, but he still had to do it. There was no way about it.
Steeling himself, he left the confines of his room and opened the mind link. Feeling it resonate within him like a ripple, he homed in on Yugi's current position: the living room. He smiled; Yugi was probably lying on the sofa and watching TV. Yami started to walk down the stairs.
'Yami? What's is it? You know, you never did tell me what you wanted to earlier before breakfast.'
'I know. I'm coming down right now.'
'Ok, waiting for you.'
As confident as he sounded, Yami wasn't so sure of himself the minute his feet touched the floorboards of the first story. All of a sudden, there were butterflies doing a stage performance of 'Romeo and Juliet' in his stomach and he frowned. Bracing himself, he entered the living room, and just as he had thought, Yugi was on the sofa. However, he wasn't just lying there, oh no; he was lounging on the piece of furniture much like a sunbather would do, head thrown back and arms tucked under and his legs were arranged in the most provocative manner possible that made his shorts ride up. All that exposed skin was enough to make anyone in his right mind desire the little one and possibly drool.
When Yugi noticed Yami standing at the threshold of the living room, he blinked and quickly sat up. He patted the sofa beside him.
"Come over here, Yami!"
It was probably a spell that enticed him over, for Yami could hardly remember any of the short walk. How could Yugi have such an effect on him? As he looked into those amethyst pools that seemed to go on forever, Yami knew he was willing to drown in them and savour the light if he could. The only way to accomplish that was to, of course, confess and let Yugi decide for himself if he would accept his love.
"Yugi, I just want to tell you that..."
All of a sudden, Yami found himself under Yugi's unwavering gaze that was both gentle and warm. The temptation to just lean in and claim a kiss was so great he had no idea how he was resisting. Were actions louder than words? He should just prove it to himself, shouldn't he? He found himself leaning in.
Yugi was strangely, immobile and unresisting. He probably thought he just wanted to let their foreheads lean against each other, a habit that offered them both comfort and one neither had ever broken out of. Well, he'd just show Yugi what he really wanted.
Just then, a shrill ring from the telephone broke the tranquil moment, and Yami could feel the atmosphere shattering like a window's first date with a baseball. Resisting the urge to send the caller on a roundabout trip to the shadow realm, he slumped against the sofa while Yugi left to pick up the phone.
One thing he did not have, Yami decided, was luck.
A while later, Yugi came back into the living room and hopped onto the sofa, close enough for Yami to feel his warmth. Yami pouted inwardly; if Yugi had jumped just a couple of inches closer, he would be lounging in his laps... He wondered if it would be okay if he just plopped Yugi onto his laps right now. Deciding he had nothing to lose, he did just that.
Yugi barely had time to 'eep!' before he found himself sitting on Yami's thighs and his head tucked into the crook of his darker half's neck. Almost hearing Yami's steady heartbeat, Yugi blushed, but did not protest when Yami wrapped a protective arm around him and took his hands with his other arm.
The dark teen felt his heart swell at the lack of protest, and how Yugi was cuddling against him like a giant teddy bear. Sweet.
"Because. Just because," he answered. "And I wanted a hug."
As soon as he finished, he felt Yugi's arms enfolding him in an embrace.
"You just had to tell me, and I would hug you all day," the little one teased, not aware of the possible effects of his words. "Are you unhappy, Yami? Does this have anything to do with what you were trying to tell me?"
Bingo! That was a perfect lead in! He just needed to build up the atmosphere a bit more...
"I'm not unhappy, hikari. I'm just a little disappointed because I haven't been able to tell you..."
The phone rang again, and this time, Yami did not manage to rein in his string of curses. Yugi threw him an apologetic look and quickly scampered off to pick up the phone again.
When Yugi came back a minute later, Yami was already fully convinced that he would never succeed in confessing simply because of all the distraction and interruptions. He probably needed to pay homage to the shadows and banish some mortal to the shadow realm as an offering first...
"Yami? Jou called us earlier to ask us out. He just called again to change the venue to Burger World because apparently, he hasn't eaten lunch yet."
"Yami? Why don't you tell me what you've been wanting to say all morning before we leave?"
He shook his head. "It's okay. I don't feel the urge to say anything now..." Not when all I want to do is find a divine way to torture Jou.
Jou fired another successful shot.
"Alright! Beat that, Honda!"
The other teen rolled his eyes.
"It's just one guy. Try shooting fifteen consecutive targets like I did."
Yugi thought it was time to interfere.
"Great shot, Jou! Great shot too, Honda! Just continue at this rate and you two will complete this game in no time!" he chirped, pointing to the screen of the shooting game the two were currently engaged in. After lunch, the gang had decided to come to the new arcade and almost immediately, Jou and Honda zoomed in on the game. And as close those two were, bickering seemed to be a constant in their friendship. Even Yugi's attempts to cool them down were useless.
As the two continued to bicker, Yugi glanced at his yami worriedly. The ex-pharaoh had been trying to tell him something all morning, but with the constant interruptions, he still had no idea what it was about. And it seemed so important, the way Yami kept trying to talk to him privately and how disappointed he was when the phone rang not once, but twice. Now, three hours into their gathering with their friends, Yami was still lurking behind the group and sulking. Granted, he still looked like a dignified pharaoh even when he was pouting.
He grinned at that. Somehow, no matter what Yami did or how he acted, he was still always handsome. Ever since he had obtained his own body, he was quickly crowned a 'girl magnet' and even jii-san had laughingly told them that business at the shop was getting better simply because Yami was at the counter. In school, Yami's locker had more love letters than anybody else, something that irked the darker teen to no end.
It wasn't difficult to understand why, really. Yami was really a very, very attractive individual. Even when they were in an arcade and Yami was just sulking in a corner nearby, Yugi could tell that every girl in the place had their eyes stuck on him like glue. And if it wasn't for the fact that Anzu was trying to talk him out of his misery, there was no doubt the girls would have moved in on him like wolves homing in onto a piece of raw meat.
At the moment, Anzu seemed to be heading nowhere with their conversation and it was obvious that she was getting increasingly frustrated. Whatever problem Yami had, it had to be really big for Anzu to lose her cool. Almost.
Vaguely, Yugi wondered what it was. It was probably the same issue Yami had been trying to tell him all morning. For the longest time, he and Yami confided in each other; they would stay up all night just to talk about their problems. And when things got really bad, he would crawl into Yami's embrace to seek comfort and refuge. Yami seemed to really enjoy having him there too, so it soon became a habit.
'He's probably really upset this morning, to just pluck me up like that. Plus, he's been blocking his side of the link. Guess he doesn't want me to know yet. Well, it's a good thing Anzu's with him now,' he thought. Suddenly, something clicked and realization dawned on him. 'Oh my god... is Yami in love? Now that I think about it, he seems to be displaying all the lovesick symptoms...'
Dreamy eyes, checked. Constant state of daze, checked. Mood swings, checked. Conclusion: Yami was probably falling in love. But with whom? A quick mental checklist of all the girls turned up blank, because he had never seen Yami giving so much as a hint towards any of them. Guys then? Hmm... this was getting difficult. They knew a lot more guys than girls...
Careful to shield his emotions from seeping into the mind link, Yugi pouted inwardly. It was childish and stupid, he knew, to be upset by such a turn of events. Did he ever think that Yami would never find a lover and stay with him always?
Looking over to Yami who was still sulking and Anzu knocking her head against the wall, he sighed. He shouldn't be upset. Really. The darker teen was entitled to a life of his own, without having to constantly worry if Yugi was going be hurt.
But just why couldn't he feel happy about it?
Yugi found himself even more confused when Yami gave him a stalk of flower that night. When the spirit had even found the time to get the flower was beyond him.
"Yami, what flower is this?"
For a while, the darker teen appeared a little apprehensive, but it was gone as sudden as it had come and Yugi wondered if it was just a trick of his eyes.
"A lotus. It's something from my time."
"Oh," he replied, but he didn't really get what Yami was trying to tell him. "What's it for?"
Was it just him, or did Yami frown? It was just for a moment before he shrugged.
"Just wanted to give you something, and I saw this."
Now he understood. It seemed to be in Yami's nature to enjoy giving him presents all of a sudden without an explanation. He had gotten chocolates, little snacks, music CDs and a whole lot other presents before, but receiving a flower was a first. Yugi wondered if there was any reason for it. Suddenly, he recalled that Yami was probably falling in love.
...Yami probably wanted to give him something special to make up for the time he would be spending with that person and not him anymore.
Well, it sounded plausible.
"Thanks, Yami. It's really beautiful," - he forced a smile– "I'm going to put in the vase on the table so jii-chan can see it too."
Yami dialed Anzu's number after he made sure Yugi was already in his room, preparing to go to sleep.
"Yami?" She was clearly puzzled as to what she had done to deserve a call this late.
"You told me to woo Yugi with a flower."
"Yes, I did. Well, I just thought it would be for the best, since you told me that you keep getting interrupted whenever you try telling him. A flower would probably work better if that were the case, since you won't need to say anything at all. After all, actions /are/ louder than words!"
Yami raised an eyebrow at that old and cliché adage. "It failed."
"Your plan to woo Yugi with a flower."
Anzu was obviously flustered. "How? What did he say?"
"He said the flower was beautiful, and he put it in a vase on the kitchen table so Sugoroku jii-san would be able to see it too. If that wasn't a failure, I don't know what is."
"...Yami, what flower did you get him?"
"...Why that, of all things, if I may ask?"
"Isn't a lotus supposed to represent love? It did in my time."
He thought he heard Anzu curse, but she had taken the mouthpiece away from herself so he couldn't really be sure.
"Yami, you said so yourself: in your time. In case you've forgotten, it's been 5000 years. You should have gotten a red rose instead! Don't you ever watch television?"
"That red, gaudy thing of a flower? But there're thorns on the stem!"
"Then you trim them away for Yugi! That's the way it should be, to show your sincerity! Besides, the ones at the florist should already be thorn-less..."
He cursed himself mentally in a colourful language he never knew he could achieve. He knew he should have paid more attention to the world at large rather than just his duel deck and his aibou!
This time, he was positive Anzu was sighing over the phone.
"Yami, listen. There is another chance coming up soon. Remember that we're having an inter-class sports meet this coming Monday? Well, that's tomorrow actually... But anyway, use the sports meet to your advantage."
"Look, you don't have to worry about this. I'm going to call the games coordinator right now..."
"You know the guy?"
"She's my senior in dancing class. But that's not important! Anyway, as I was saying, I'll call her right away and ask for her help. Tomorrow, you just turn up in school with Yugi and I will give you the cue, alright? Nothing will go wrong this time. I'm sure."
"Have some faith, Yami," she urged. Then as a second thought, she added, "Well, that and a bit more common sense that is."
"...Anzu, be thankful you're my friend."
"I thank the gods everyday."
"You're being sarcastic, aren't you?"
"Glad you could tell. But just for your information, I'm only sarcastic to people who play so much Duel Monsters that they don't even know roses are the universal flower for love."
"... ... ... I still think the lotus is more beautiful."