-1Since this story was pretty long, I decided to put it into 2 chapters to make it easier to read. So, here's the second part to 'Old Friends'.
"Mou Hitori no Boku!" Yuugi cried with joy.
Atemu smiled down on his friend. It had been a long time since they had last spoken, or even seen each other, yet they never forgot one another. Friends never did.
"Hello aibou," Atemu greeted happily. "It is good to see you again."
"It's good to see you too, Mou Hitori no Boku," Yuugi returned the greeting. The smile on his face grew with each passing second, and it wasn't fading any time soon.
There was a small pause in which the two old friends didn't know what to say to each other. It had been so long since they'd seen each other, and there was so much to tell that they didn't know where to begin. After a few moments had passed, Yuugi spoke up.
"So…er…how is it?" he asked carefully. "The afterlife, I mean…"
To say that Atemu was taken aback by this question was an understatement.
"Well…er…it's OK," Atemu answered, struggling for words. "I mean, do not that this the wrong way aibou, it is good seeing everyone from Egypt again…It is just that…it is…not…the same…as being with you and the others."
"I know what you mean," Yuugi sighed softly, looking away slightly.
Atemu looked down at his old hikari. He could easily tell when something was wrong with his former vessel. They had shared the same body for quite some time after all and knew each other as well as they knew themselves. Something was bothering him, but what?
"So, how have you been aibou?" Atemu asked after another brief pause.
"Oh, I've been OK, I guess," Yuugi answered, picking his words carefully. He didn't want Atemu to know how miserable he was. "I graduated from school and I'm now studying Ancient Egyptian history at university. It's pretty interesting actually. I've been on a couple of digs and I can read a bit of hieroglyphs-"
Yuugi cut off, not wanting to say anymore, fearing that he would pour his heart out at any second. He didn't want Atemu to listen to his worries; he had more important things to do, being that he was the spirit of an Ancient Pharaoh. He was sure Atemu had other more important things to worry about.
Atemu looked down at Yuugi. He was hiding something from him, he knew it. He was keeping something bottled up inside that was screaming to get out. He had to find out what it was, before it controlled Yuugi. After all, he knew first hand what it's like to be controlled by your emotions. And that no one should ever keep their feelings bottled up inside. It would only destroy them.
"Aibou, there is something else bothering you," Atemu said sternly. He came over and sat on the end of Yuugi's bed.
"Nani?" Yuugi looked up in surprise. "Hai, there is. But how did you-"
"Know?" Atemu interrupted. He chuckled. "Aibou, even though we do not share a physic bond anymore, I can still read your thoughts like a book. So, tell me what is wrong? I would like to help you."
"Well," Yuugi began, still a little hesitant. "It's just that…ever since you left after the ceremonial battle, I've been wondering what life would have been like if you hadn't left. What would I being doing if you had stayed here on Earth with me? And also, Anzu's been gone over a year now, and Jou and Honda have been gone for a while too, and with you and all of them gone, I'm left on my own. It feels like they've abandoned me! I'M ALL ALONE!"
Yuugi clenched his fists, trying to hold back the fresh tears that threatened to fall. Unfortunately, one fell silently down his cheek. 'Man, how many times am I gonna cry in one night?'
Atemu watched Yuugi with wide, shock eyes. In all the years that he and Yuugi had been connected by the Sennen Puzzle, he had never seen Yuugi this…this…depressed before. He didn't know that his departure, and his friend's, could cause so much pain. Just seeing his old partner like this was enough to break his heart. He had to help him…somehow…
And that's when it hit him. He knew exactly what he had to do. He stood up and walked over to where Yuugi sat in his bed. He placed an arm around Yuugi, and gave him a comforting hug.
"Aibou, you are never alone," he said softly
"Huh? What do you mean by that?" Yuugi asked, his voice shaking slightly.
Atemu broke the hug and placed a comforting hand on Yuugi's shoulder. "Haven't you listened to any of Anzu's speeches these past few years? All of us share a special bond of friendship, which can never be broken. This means that we're never truly alone. Our friends are always with us, in our heart. They will always be in your heart, aibou. So no matter where we all are in the world, we will always be there for one another…"
And as if on queue, Yuugi felt his hand begin to tingle. He looked down and saw that lines on the back of his hand were glowing. But these weren't any 'normal' lines (if you could call glowing lines on the back of your hand normal). When Yuugi duelled against Kaiba, and his friends couldn't be there to watch him and support him since they had to take Yuugi's grandfather to the hospital, Anzu had drawn on a smiley face on Yuugi's, Jou's, Honda's and her own hand to represent their friendship and the bond they share. The ink many have worn off long ago, but their friendship was as strong as ever. And it was these lines that were glowing now.
As Yuugi watched the lines emit a soft glow, he felt his friends' presence all around him. Atemu was right. His friends were always with him. A smile appeared on his face.
"You're right, Mou Hitori no Boku," he said happily. "How could I forget about the bond we all share? Thank you for reminding me."
"Anytime aibou," said Atemu. A small ray of light slowly began to grow brighter and bigger appearing behind him. It was time. He stood up and took a few steps back. "But it's time for me to go."
"Go?" asked a shocked Yuugi, trying to protect his eyes from the ever-increasing light. "But you just got here! How come you have to go?"
"Because I am only allowed to stay in this world for a short amount of time," answered Atemu. His spirit began to float away up the ray of light. "And there are things I must do before my time is up."
"B-But…will I ever see you again?" Yuugi pleaded. He had just got his old friend back. He didn't want him to leave just yet. Not this soon.
"Don't worry aibou," Atemu reassured. His spirit had almost completely disappeared. "Our paths will cross again. But there is one thing I must do before I say goodbye, or rather something I must say."
"Huh? What's that?"
"Merry Christmas!" Atemu laughed.
Yuugi was confused. It wasn't Christmas yet, it was still Christmas eve, wasn't it? He looked at his clock. 00:05am. So it was Christmas day! He laughed slightly.
"Same to you. Thank you…for everything."
"Anytime aibou. Goodbye."
The light continued to grow brighter, until it was too much for Yuugi's eyes to handle. He used his arms to shield his eyes from the blinding light. Then, as suddenly as it had come, the light disappeared. He looked around his now dark room. He couldn't see Atemu anywhere. He really was gone. He looked out of his window at the night sky, and saw that the bright star was still there, shinning away.
"Goodbye…Mou Hitori no Boku…"
Anzu bolted up in her bed with a scream, panting, cold sweat dripping from her body. All was quiet in her hotel room, apart from her own heavy breathing.
'Oh man, that was the worst dream ever! But it felt so real. I hope it was just a dream. Yuugi can't leave me. Not yet. I've already lost Mou Hitori no Yuugi…I mean, Atemu…I can't lose him too! I just can't! Huh?'
Just then, Anzu felt a strange tingle from her hand. She looked down, and saw that the lines that represented the friendship bond were glowing. But that wasn't all. Even though she could sense all her friends, one seemed to be calling out to her.
"Yuugi!" she screamed once she figured out who it was. "Oh Yuugi, I hope you're OK. Hey!…What the?…What's going on!"
Anzu used her arms to protect her eyes from the sudden blinding light that was shinning into her room. But soon the light started to fade away, and as Anzu looked up she saw a figure standing in the middle of the light. Her heart skipped a beat, and her breath caught in her throat as she recognised who it was.
Jonouchi gasped and bolted up in his bed.
'Oh man, what a horrible dream, but, why did it feel so real? Did…Did Honda have a dream similar to this? He was mumbling in his sleep earlier. And stranger things have happened to us these past few years…'
Jonouchi looked around the room he and Honda were sharing to see if his friend was awake. He sighed as if annoyed once he saw where he was.
Honda had fallen out of bed-again-and was now in an interesting position on the floor. Jonouchi, not wanting to wake his sister in the next room about a weird dream, decided to wake Honda up instead. He wouldn't mind. Honda kept him up during the night anyway with his snoring.
"Honda…hey, Honda…" he said whilst poking him in the arm. "Are you awake bud?"
"…Gmpf…" came Honda's sleepy reply.
Jonouchi continued to try and wake him up. "Hey Honda…wake up…Honda…WAKE UP!"
Honda suddenly awoke, bolting up from where he was sleeping with a loud yell. This sudden reaction caused Jonouchi to scream too. Once the screaming was over, the shouting began.
"MAN! WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR!" Jonouchi yelled at Honda.
"ME!" Honda yelled back. "You were the one POKING ME!"
"OK OK! Calm down!" said Jonouchi, regaining control of his anger. "We don't want to wake up Shizuka now, do we?"
"You were the one who started yelling," Honda muttered to himself. Jonouchi ignored this comment.
An uncomfortable silence fell between the two friends. A cloud shifted position in the sky, allowing the moonlight to shine through into the room.
"So…why did you want to wake me up?" Honda asked after a few minutes had passed.
"I had a dream…a really scary dream," Jonouchi replied.
"A dream? About what?"
"Hai. I dreamt that he was walking through some sort of portal, into the Shadow Realm. I tried calling out to him, but when he looked at me…he looked depressed…lonely and empty. He wouldn't listen to me! He walked straight into that damn portal into the darkness!"
Jonouchi clenched his fists to control his emotions. Honda looked at him, then sighed heavily.
"I had the same dream," he said after a while. "Only Yuugi was walking off a cliff into a dark void. You know what I think? I think that Yu-…er…what the hell is this?"
Honda stared at his hand. Lines had started to glow on the back.
"Er…Jou…are you seeing this?" Honda asked, completely freaked out.
"Yeah Honda, I'm seeing!" replied Jonouchi, whose hand also hand glowing lines on the back. "Can you feel that too?"
"Yeah, it's Yuugi."
"Man, I hope he's alright…AH!…WHAT'S GOING ON NOW!"
Both teens covered their eyes as a bright light suddenly began shinning onto the room. But as suddenly as it appeared, the light died away. As Honda and Jonouchi looked up, they saw a figure dressed in an Egyptian Pharaoh's attire standing before them. Both jaws hit the floor simultaneously.
"Atemu?" they both gasped as the figure before them became clearer.
The Pharaoh smiled down at his friends.
"Jonouchi, Honda, we need to talk," he said sternly.
"Why does all this weird stuff happen to us?" Jonouchi groaned.
The sun shone through Yuugi's window, lighting up his room, and causing him to awake. Slowly, he sat up in bed, stretched, and wiped the sleep away from his eyes. He looked out of his window, the events of last night still vivid in his mind. Did Atemu really visit him last night? Or was it all just a dream? It seemed real enough. Well, whatever it was, it seemed to have cheered him up.
Yuugi looked at his clock. 9am on 25th December. Christmas Day. He jumped out of bed and quickly got dressed in his black, sleeveless top, blue jacket and blue pants, with his belt around his waist. As soon as he was dressed, he rushed downstairs into the dinning room. He may be 19, but that doesn't mean that he was too old for presents on Christmas Day. He was still a child at heart.
As he entered the dinning room he saw that his grandfather had made him a special breakfast for Yuugi and himself. Yuugi noticed a small pile of presents under the Mutou's Christmas tree and immediately the familiar excitement of opening presents filled his heart.
"Wow jii-chan!" Yuugi gasped happily. "Did you do all of this?"
"The breakfast, yes," replied Sugoroku. "But most of the presents came in the mail, although one of them is from me." He gave his grandson a wink.
A large grin appeared on Yuugi's face. So his friend's hadn't forgotten him. This was great! (Though he should've known better.) Things were starting to look up.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" Sugoroku asked as his grandson was just standing their, drooling over the presents before him. "They're not going to open themselves. Open them!"
"HAI!" shouted Yuugi as he dived into the presents.
Yuugi couldn't remember the last time he had smiled this much. Since his friends had left town, he had been depressed and lonely, but thanks to Atemu last night, all the sadness had disappeared.
Yuugi received some great gifts that morning, and loved them all! His grandfather had given him his own set of archaeology brushes and tools. Considering that he was due to go on another dig next month, this proved to be a very useful gift.
Jonouchi and Honda sent Yuugi their presents in the mail. Honda had made a photo album full of pictures of them all together. Jonouchi gave him some ultra rare Duel Monster cards, including one that looked like he had made it himself. Anzu, too, sent Yuugi a present. She sent him a new shirt (which she had made herself). It was similar to the one that he always wore, apart from the fact that this one that the symbol of the Sennen items on the front, and the words 'King of Games' printed on the back. Yuugi loved it so much, he put it on straight away.
Yuugi spent the rest of the day relaxing. The shop was closed, so he had nothing important to do. He called up various relatives to wish them a 'Merry Christmas', along with his friends. However, when he tried to call Anzu, Jonouchi and Honda, he found he could not. But Yuugi didn't give this a second thought. It was Christmas after all. They were bound to be spending it with their family, so were too busy to pick up their phones…right?
Later that evening, as the sun was just starting to set, the phone rang. Yuugi, who was going through his deck at the time, quickly jumped up from where he was sitting and went to pick it up, only to find that it stopped ringing as soon as he got to the phone.
"Oh, jii-chan must've picked it up," he said to himself, "I'd better go and see who it is."
Yuugi collected his cards, and put them in his deck pouch attached to his belt. He then made his way downstairs. He found his grandfather on the phone in the living room. It sounded like the conversation was just finishing.
"Hai…No he doesn't…City Halls…7pm…Hai, I'll make sure he's there…OK, thank you for calling…You too…goodbye!" Sugoroku hung up.
"Who was that, jii-chan?" asked Yuugi as his grandfather put the phone back on the receiver.
"AH! Yuugi!" screamed Sugoroku, jumping back. "You almost gave me a heart attack!"
"Sorry jii-chan," Yuugi laughed. "But who was that on the phone?"
"On the phone?…err…well…it was…a-a-a duellist!"
"A duellist?" Yuugi cocked an eyebrow.
"Hai! That's right! A duellist! He…er…wants to duel you…tonight!" Sugoroku starting pushing Yuugi towards the door. "He said to meet him at City Halls at 7pm, so that gives you 15 minutes to get there. You'd better get a move on!"
"OK OK, I will! You can stop pushing me now!" said Yuugi as he tried to stop his grandfather. Once he had managed to get away from his grasp, he grabbed his duel disk and jacket and walked out the door, giving his grandfather a strange look. He was acting very weird.
As soon as Sugoroku heard the door close, he sighed heavily in relief.
"Phew! That was a close one. I almost gave away the surprise. Yuugi's sure going to be surprised as soon as he arrives at city halls! He he!
Yuugi was glad that he was outside. It may have been freezing cold, but by the looks of the clouds that were starting to come over, it was about to snow. As he walked down the streets, his thoughts came to his grandfather. He was acting very strange after that phone call. Yuugi knew his grandfather was up to something, but what?
As he turned the corner, Yuugi noticed a large group of people that gathered on the other side of the road. By the looks of it, they seemed to gathered around some sort of celebrity, for there were flashing cameras everywhere, and people running up with pen and paper in their hands. There were various shouts of 'can you sign this please?' and 'can you pose for a picture for my daughter?'
Yuugi tried to see who the celebrity was, but found that he could only just see the very top of their head, due to the tall group of people. From what he could see however, was that the celebrity seemed to have brown hair.
"I haven't got time to play 'guess the celeb'" Yuugi said as he started to walk away. He looked at his watch. "I've only got 5 minutes to get to the duel." Upon seeing the time, Yuugi quicken his pace towards his destination.
A few minutes later, Yuugi arrived at City Halls with one minute to spare. As he climbed the steps to the main entrance, he thought that this was a strange place to hold a duel. City Halls were usually used for large meetings, or people could rent out one of the halls inside for a large party. Why did someone want to duel him there?
Yuugi came to the front doors, and opened them, walking inside. Strange that they were unlocked. Did his opponent rent out one of the halls just for this one duel?
It was pitch black inside. Yuugi couldn't see a thing. He called out into the darkness, hoping that someone would answer him. No one did. After standing there for about another minute hoping that his opponent would show up, whoever they were, Yuugi gave up. He was about to turn around and leave, when the lights suddenly came on.
"Surprise! Merry Christmas Yuugi!" various voices shouted happily.
Yuugi's eyes soon got used to the light, and when he looked up, he couldn't help but gasp.
Gathered in the brightly decorated hall-complete with a 'Merry Christmas Everyone' banner- were all his friends: Mai, Ryou, Seto (though Yuugi had a feeling that Mokuba had something to do with this), Otogi, Shizuka, his grandfather (though how he got there before he did Yuugi did not know), everyone was there. But even though he was happy to see them all, he was happier to see the two people walking up to him.
"Hey there pal!" exclaimed Jonouchi.
"What's up buddy?" asked Honda as the pair stopped in front of their best friend.
"Jonouchi! Honda! You're here!" said Yuugi, teary eyes. He embraced his two best friends with a friendly hug. "But how?…Why?…"
"You didn't think we'd let you celebrate Christmas on your own, did you?" said Honda, winking at Jonouchi.
"Yeah," said the blonde, returning the wink. "We couldn't let you have all the fun, or food!"
"Whatever," laughed Yuugi, "I'm just so glad that you're here."
Jonouchi smiled down at his best friend. 'Good old Atemu. Thanks for reminding me and Honda about being a good friend to Yuugi.'
"Me too Yuugi. Now, lets get this party started!"
The party was well underway and everyone was enjoying themselves, especially Yuugi. He had to admit, this was one of the best parties he'd ever been to. Everyone was laughing, dancing, and generally having a good time. Even Seto seemed to be having a good time, even though he tried very hard to cover it up. But as Yuugi looked around the hall, he felt that something, or rather someone was missing.
No party was complete without her. Yuugi wished so much that she was here. But he knew deep down that she couldn't. After all, she was in America. She couldn't exactly drop everything and travel all the way to Japan for one party. Plus by the time she landed in Domino the party would be over anyway. This only depressed Yuugi more.
Yuugi soon snapped out of his thoughts when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see Jonouchi and Honda looking very smug.
"Yuugi, can you come outside with us for a moment?" Honda asked
"Yeah, we…er…got to show you something," said Jonouchi as he started to push Yuugi towards the door.
"Err…sure guys…" Yuugi answered, feeling that he didn't have any choice.
Even though Yuugi agreed to go with them, Jonouchi and Honda still continued to push him towards the door, as if they wanted him outside as quickly as possible. 'Strange. They're acting as strange as grandpa was earlier. What are they up to?'
When the 3 teens finally got outside, the two tallest boys of the trio were quick to make sure that the doors were closed behind them. Yuugi stood there watching his friends, arms crossed, his foot tapping slightly.
"OK guys, what are you up to?" he asked.
"Nani? Us?" Jonouchi said innocently, "This wasn't our idea."
"Hai," said Honda, signalling to someone behind Yuugi to come forward. "It was all her idea."
Honda pointed to someone behind Yuugi. Confused, Yuugi turned around and saw the last person he expected to see.
"Hi Yuugi," Anzu spoke softly as she stepped forward.
Yuugi starting walking towards Anzu, as if he was in a dream. He couldn't believe it. Anzu was here, right in front of him. It was as if all his wishes had come true.
"I can't believe you're here," said Yuugi, teary eyed (once again). He stopped in front of Anzu and saw that she, too, had tears in her eyes. "But why are you in Japan? I thought you were in America."
"I was," Anzu replied. "But you remember when I said in my last letter that I was to star in this big show? Well, it turns out that the show is right here in Domino!"
"O-Oh" was all the Yuugi said, disappointed. He had expected her to say something else. 'I guess that explains the group of people earlier. That must've been Anzu they were crowded around.'
Honda eyed the pair curiously from near the hall doors. He knew what was coming next.
"Hey Jou," whispered Honda. "Maybe we should leave them alone for a while."
"Yeah, good point," Jonouchi whispered back, slowly creeping backwards. "Lets leave them to 'catch up'"
Honda sniggered at Jonouchi's remark. Then he and Jonouchi snuck inside, making sure to close the doors quickly and quietly behind them.
"Hey guys, where's Yuugi?" asked Ryou, making Jonouchi and Honda jump.
"Oh…er…he's outside with…a…special gift!" stuttered Jonouchi, before he and Honda darted away.
Ryou watched them walking away, both of them snickering loudly. Even though he was slightly confused, and worried (why was Yuugi out in the cold?), Ryou put it in the back of his mind, and continued to enjoy the party. After all, his favourite Christmas song had just started playing.
Anzu sensed Yuugi's disappointment, and knew that she had blown it. 'Great job Anzu. Now what are you going to do? Atemu told you that Yuugi was unhappy, and you've just gone and made things worse…hey! I know what to do!'
"You know Yuugi," said Anzu softly, moving closer to Yuugi. "That wasn't the only reason I came back."
"It wasn't?" asked Yuugi. His and Anzu's faces began to move closer and closer together, his body acting on it's own.
"Iie. There was something else I had to do. Something very important…" Their faces were now inches apart, the gap continuing to close.
"Really? And what would that be?"
Yuugi's question was soon answered when Anzu placed her lips on top of his own. Yuugi was a little surprised at first, but he quickly got over the shock and kissed her back. Their first kiss, right under the stars in the night sky. As their kiss deepen, Yuugi wrapped his arms around Anzu's waist. Anzu reacted by placing her arms around Yuugi's neck, pulling him closer to her body…
Unfortunately, they soon had to break the kiss due to a lack of oxygen.
"Wow…" was all that Yuugi could say
"Hai…wow," said Anzu. She smiled dreamily. "You don't know how long I've been wanting to do that Yuugi. And you don't know how long I've been wanting to say…I love you Yuugi…"
Did he hear right? Did Anzu just say she loved him? Him? Yuugi Mutou? Suddenly, the world seemed a better place to live.
"I love you too Anzu," Yuugi said dreamily. He stroked Anzu's soft hair away from her eyes. "For as long as I can remember, and I know exactly how you feel."
Anzu laughed slightly. She reached out for Yuugi's hand, and held it with her own. The two looked at each other, feeling as if they were on cloud nine, until the music from the hall dragged them both back down to earth. Plus it had started to snow.
"Do you want to go inside and see everyone?" asked Yuugi, giving Anzu's hand a comforting squeeze.
"Sure, why not?" said Anzu, returning the squeeze. "As long as my first dance is with you."
Yuugi smiled at Anzu. He must be the happiest guy in the world. He and Anzu were together, all his friends were here…well, almost all of them.
Yuugi looked up at the night sky, careful not to get snow in his eyes, as he and Anzu walked back towards the hall. He smiled when he saw a shooting star fly across the sky.
'Thank you, Mou Hitori no Boku. I don't know how you did it, but thanks for bringing my friends back. I just wish you could be here with us. Goodbye, my friend.'
As Yuugi and Anzu walked towards the hall, Atemu watched them from the sky, a smile on his face.
"Anytime aibou. I am always happy to help. But this is not goodbye, for we will meet again. Sooner than you think…"
So, what do you think? Is it any better? Or is it worse? Please R&R and let me know!