Here you go the next chapter. Enjoy and please review!
Oh yah and I am looking for a beta reader if anyone is interested let me know. (Ra knows I needed one, probably Zeus, Budda, and countless other gods as well)
Bakura, Joey and Tristan walked up on the rest of the group.
Tea was currently sitting next to Mai animatedly talking about some movie that was coming out soon and how they should get the men to take them too it.
Yami and Seto were currently seated under a shade tree, Seto reading and Yami was speaking with Rebecca who was over to visit Mokuba yet again.
Mokuba was currently speaking with Serenity about how it could sometimes be annoying to have overprotective siblings. But they loved them anyway. Really Joey and Kaiba had a lot in common.
Duke was currently taking a nap in his fiancé's lap, while said fiancé was speaking with Malik, sharing memories of the past year. Malik was so happy for once he thought that his life was really looking up.
"Hey guys what happened you were suppose to be getting some drinks. It took you forever and you have nothing?" Mai said with a sweet teasing smile. But after her eyes landed on the them her demeanor fell.
"Whats wrong what happen?" That was Yami apparently he noticed their somber faces as well.
Tristan and Joey pretended like the dirt was the most interesting thing they had ever seen. Bakura sighed and ran a hand through his hair. This was difficult. A few years ago he would have cherished this moment but a lot had changed and being the barer of bad news was not something he enjoyed doing. The air was tense as all eyes worriedly fell on the trio.
"We ran into Yugi on the way" Bakura started somber "He's fine" Bakura added, he knew the rest would be hard but he needed them to listen and he wasn't lying 'at not least physically' he reminded himself.
"Why isn't he here then?" Malik asked concern laced in his voice. He really did care for Yugi- which didn't make things any easier for Bakura.
Bakura looked away "Look Malik…did Yugi give you any indication that you and him were a couple? Anything at all?"
Malik looked confused for a moment then got defensive "Of course! I've been on several dates with him."
"Malik, I really need an honest answer, did Yugi ever call it a date? Did he ever initiate any of the get together? Hold your hand, kiss you? Tell you he loved you?" Bakura asked. He knew it was cruel but he really needed the answers.
Malik just got angry and frustrated. "Well no! But he's shy and sweet! He'd never, …. STOP IT WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THESE QUESTIONS" Malik was on his feet and near hysterics he started pounding on Bakura's chest "WHY! WHERE'S YUGI, SOMEONE MAKE HIM STOP!"
Ryou was about to reprimand Bakura, but a looked from him silenced it. Most of the group was to taken aback by the display to say much of anything. Seto took Yami's hand who had a kind of sad knowing look. He had never really felt anything out of the ordinary for Malik.
Duke was awake by now he stood and placed a hand on Malik's shoulder. "Calm down"
"No! Whats going on!" Malik yelled and looked at Bakura tears in his eyes. Though he'd stopped hitting him.
Bakura continued though he could look at Malik. "We found Yugi with someone else. He'd just been proposed too."
"What kind of cruel joke is this!" Malik yelled then looked to Tristan and Joey "I can't believe you would go along with this! Yugi would never cheat on me! He loves me I know he does!" Malik wrapped his arms around himself.
"It's not a joke Malik" Joey said in a low serious voice. "And Yugi never thought you two were dating. He just thought you two were friends who hung out together."
Bakura wasn't expecting the help but he was glad for it. Honestly he though of Malik as one of his best friends.
Ryou rose and wrapped his arms around Malik. He could tell his Yami wasn't lying. He felt horrible; he'd been the one to give Malik the most motivation to pursue Yugi.
"That still doesn't explain were Yugi is" Seto's cutting voice cut through it was a tone most of them had forgotten years ago.
"Nor why if he had been dating someone else for so long why he hid it from us" Yami finished.
"Joey Tristan and I…we mistook what was going on for them attacking Yugi. It went bad and he ended up being hit by a car that ran. Yugi called an ambulance and then proceeded to tell us in unfriendly terms a summary of what had been going on. He was on his way here to tell us when we ruined it." Bakura said in a whisper.
Malik went limp in Ryou's arms. He was like a heartbroken doll. His glass palace fell down around him.
"Who was he someone we know?" Duke asked quietly, as Yami and Seto stood.
"We need to get to the hospital" They said and turned to leave.
"Wait!" Bakura said placing a hand to his head. "You need to hear this too" Yami stopped and turned as Seto moved behind him to listen to Bakura "The person that Yugi was with, well we kind of had a good reason to think he was attacking Yugi, and yes we know him." Bakura said it was harder to reveal then he thought it would be. The final nail in Malik's coffin so to speak. "It was Marik, Malik's Yami" finally came out in a whisper.
A look of slight understanding passed across the faces of Yami and Ryou, like the last piece of the puzzle fell into place in their head.
"Him!" Malik came back to life screeching out the word like venom. "He probably brainwashed Yugi to get him away from me He-" his rant was cut short by one simple word.
"No" with came from Yami. Yami and moved up behind Malik but moved around in his view.
"Your not very close to your Yami, you never have been and that's understand able, but what that also means is there is something about a Yami Hikari relation ship you don't understand." Yami said just above a whisper but it held the command of the ruler he once was. Malik dare not speak in protest. "When either a Yami or Hikari feels strongly for someone else be it love hate friendship or any other strong emotion, those emotions are filtered through our link we still have. We were born from the same soul after all. This means that Bakura has feeling of strong affections for Duke, likewise Ryou for Tea, and Yugi for Seto, but it is not love" Yami took a breath. "I always in the back of my mind thought something was off between you and Yugi, because I never felt that serge of emotion for you. I kept trying to pass it off for various reasons, but I always felt just the same for you. In the end that can only mean one thing. Yugi was never in love with you. Too him you could only be a friend. You must be misplacing your own feelings towards Yugi for Marik's love" Yami said to the heart broken boy.
Yami was having a hard time grasping that Marik was who Yugi was in love with. But the situation at hand could only mean one thing. Marik really did love Yugi if he was affecting Malik this way. And in the deepest part of his heart he could identify Yugi's love for Marik. Sadly it all made sense to him.
Malik slapped Yami across the face "I don't care what you say. You can't right my feelings off that easily!" He said shaking. "I'm going to the hospital and I'll prove you wrong. I'm the one Yugi loves"
"Should we really let him go?" Ryou asked looking at the others.
Yami looked down. "Yes but not alone. I'm afraid that him seeing them may be the only way"
"Are you really sure Yami?" Ryou asked almost pleading.
"I wish I wasn't" was all Yami said as he took off after Malik.
"Mokuba can you call the school and tell them we wont be at graduation tonight and give them my sincerest apologies, but don't tell them what happened" Seto asked.
"Of course now go they need you now" Mokuba offered his brother a small smile as he turned to follow Yami.
The only thing certain to the group was that graduation wasn't going to be the happy celebration they all thought it was just a few minutes ago.
The car ride happened in silence not much else could be said.
Malik was left to brood. The more he though about it, the more doubts came to mind about his and Yugi's relationship.
They arrived at the hospital and any and all resistance they met with was quickly silenced by Seto. They found Yugi curled up in a chair in the emergency waiting room. He was clutching a pendant around his neck.
"Yugi?" Yami's soft voice filtered through the air.
Yugi looked up dazed. Yami had never seen the boy so miserable. He didn't have much time to think though as he found himself with an arm full of the sobbing teenager. Yami couldn't tell what Yugi was trying to say he stroked his hair.
"Its alright Yugi, Bakura explained to us what happened. I'm so sorry aibou." Yami said sitting down with Yugi in his lap.
Malik just watched. Yugi had seen him but had no reaction and barely and recognition, at that moment he knew Yugi didn't love him. Yugi had never loved him. He felt himself die that very moment. He didn't care what garbage Yami had spouted. His feelings were real this wasn't affection, this was love. He took a seat across the room. Seto sat near him but not next too. Right now Yugi needed Yami and he was the only one who could possibly help.
In Yami's arms Yugi calmed down a bit to become intelligible. "I'm so sorry I didn't tell you anything Yami. But I'm so worried, he can't die he can't Yami. I love him!"
"It's alright Yugi. I understand why you would have been afraid to reveal this to us. Not all of us have hearts as open and forgiving as yours. I'm eternally sorry you have to suffer for it. I'm sure he won't die, not with you hear waiting for him" Yami said soothingly.
"You don't care who it is?" Yugi asked resting his head on Yami's chest.
"He wouldn't have been my first choice for you, but it's not my choice in the end it's yours. I can feel through the link that you love him deeply. That's all that matters to me. Your happiness" Yami said. He did have some more to say on the subject, but Yugi didn't need to hear it right now.
Malik however felt and ache were his heart use to be. A pain he'd never experienced before. He held it all in for now. Yugi didn't need his 'misguided' affections at the moment. Like Yami he only really wanted Yugi to be happy. He just wished that his happiness lye with him. Secretly he hoped Marik wouldn't survive so then maybe he would have a chance with Yugi. But it was a selfish thought quickly dismissed. He'd walk through the shadow realm unarmed to keep pain from Yugi.
Yugi's eyes first feel on Seto once he calmed. Seto he expected and was glad to see the brunette. However the other person in the room.
"Malik?" Yugi asked questionably.
Malik's gaze returned to Yugi but he couldn't speak, not yet.
"I guess I'm just surprised that you of all people would be here." Yugi said looking down. As the knife in Malik's chest twisted, was Yugi truly that oblivious to his feelings? Well if so he'd keep it that way.
"Well you know, he was my Yami, and if he really has changed…" He trailed off he didn't know what else to say.
Yugi smiled "He has, and he's been so worried about you. He originally came here to Japan to guard over you and Ishizu and Rashid…" Yugi said "That's how I met him again" he was smiling at the fond memory even if there was a bit of sorrow in his voice.
Malik wasn't sure how but he just smiled back. "He'll have to tell me all about it when he gets better"
Several hours later found Marik out of surgery. Yugi who refused to leave the room (and again was allowed to stay thanks to Seto) was now asleep. Marik had come through surgery but they weren't sure if he would last the night. He had numerous internal injuries and had lost a lot of blood. His normally tan skin paper white, Yugi was scared.
Mokuba had called and told them that under the circumstances that they would temporarily postpone graduation. Not that anyone at the hospital cared.
Seto and Yami checked into the Hotel next to the hospital so they could be close by. They had offered Malik a room but he had refused. They others had stopped by but none had gone to in to see Marik and Yugi, getting their information from Yami. They really didn't know what to say.
Each report they received just sounded worse and worse. It seemed like Marik was fading fast and there was nothing they could do about it. None of them had ever felt so helpless.
Yugi had wanted to stay up all night but sleep claimed him as he clutched Marik's hand. Yami had no desire to wake him. Let him sleep while he could.
Finally around 2 am everyone had left. They hadn't seen Malik for a good 3 hours. It wasn't long after Ryou spoke to him that he disappeared. Ryou had apologized but Malik had insisted that there was no way Ryou could have known that Yugi was really in love with Marik instead. It didn't do much to help Ryou's guilt about the situation.
Tea, Mai and Serenity had the task of reassuring their boyfriends that Yugi would forgive them for what they had done. They acted out of instinct to protect him. They insisted (or at least Joey and Tristan) that there was no way and none of them had seen Yugi right after the accident.
Malik however had not left the hospital. But he couldn't take the others right at the moment. They all know who loved them and were secure in that knowledge. Malik honestly didn't know what he was going to do without Yugi. His whole life revolved around the pharaoh's reincarnation. However he didn't not wish to dwell on life's ironies at the moment, he must of done something horrible to piss the gods off. Though one had to admit attempting to steal the pharaoh's power and dominate the world probably qualified.
His feet finally brought him back to Marik's room. The doctors didn't dare stop him unless he did some actual harm. They knew he was with Seto Kaiba, and most likely the patient's brother. Malik watched the scene in front of him.
This close he could feel the life energy ebbing away from Marik. He maybe only had an hour. He wanted to be mad at Marik for stealing his life away, and joyful that he would be gone soon. But he couldn't. Looking at Yugi he knew what would happen if Yugi lost Marik. He couldn't let that happen. He wouldn't let that happen. At this point only one thing could save his life.
With that in mind he went over to Yugi, leaning down tears in his eyes he left a ghost of a kiss on Yugi's lips. "I love you Yugi, and now I realize you don't love me. But you see I can't continue like this. I don't care what the others say, for me this is real love. This is all I can give to you" with that he took out a bit of paper writing a short note to his sister and took Marik's other hand.
In theory he knew how this should work. It would basically be a double possession. He would force his soul into Marik's body and force Marik's soul into his body. Nothing would really change because honestly they were almost carbon copies. Just Marik would be the one to survive this night. He just hoped that Yugi would be at least a little sad in his passing.
He closed his eyes and when he opened them he was face to face with Marik. "Malik! What are you doing here!" said a shocked Marik.
"Saving your life" He said quietly.
"What! No! Don't stop now don't do this!" Marik said.
"No, this isn't for you its for Yugi. Don't struggle, your spirit doesn't have enough energy to do so at the moment" Malik said with a sad smile. "Just let him know I loved him too."
The next thing he knew Malik briefly passed through him. He felt torn and then pain before it all went black.
The beeping woke Yugi up as he jumped "Marik! Marik!" Yugi screamed trying to wake the body lying on the bed. However he was quickly was pushed out of the room by doctors trying to save their patients. And he wasn't alone.
Strong arms wrapped around him as he cried. He looked up and almost gasped. "How…"
Tears were streaming down the face of the one holding him. The one who should be in the bed dying. But he wasn't he knew those eyes, They belonged to Marik.
"I..I'm not sure. Somehow he switched our bodies." Marik said with a whisper.
Just then a doctor came out. "I'm sorry we did but we could but we couldn't save him. I'm terribly sorry." The doctor said and turned down the hall.
Yugi should have been sad. He should have really, but his deepest emotion was relief that it wasn't Marik. He hated himself for it. And he was saddened by Malik's death. But Marik was still alive.
"I meant to protect him" Marik said squeezing Yugi tight.
"I know, we should go tell the others" Yugi said kissing Marik. "We can't do anything else here"
AH ;; don't' kill me. loves on malik I cried writing this, and when I decided this is were I needed to go with the fic. This isn't the end yet. I've got one more chapter, an epilogue really to tie up everything else. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed and followed this story so far. I know I've been a pain finishing it and I hope it was worth it. (or will be with the epilogue)