Title: My New Year Resolution part 1
Author: Sorceress Fantasia
Pairings: YY/Y, K/J, mentioned YM/M
Warnings: Slight angst, some fluff, sap, romance, AU
Disclaimer: If I owned YGO, Yami would confess his everlasting love for Yugi in the first episode and kiss him at least once every episode. However, for those of you who have watched the manga and anime, you'd know that doesn't happen and so in conclusion, I do not own YGO or any of the characters.
Note: In this fic, Yugi's family owns a temple instead of a game shop. If you've watched Sailor Moon before, just picture Rei's temple and clothes and everything will be clearer. Also, take took that I don't actually know a lot about the traditions (all I know is from reading about it in mangas) so I'm taking some artistic license with the whole thing. Also, this fic is inspired by a Hollywood movie called 'When you were sleeping', which I highly recommend to those of you who enjoy romantic, sappy flicks.
Intro: Yugi's New Year resolution was to fix up his strained relationship with his boyfriend, Yami. But little does he know what Yami's New Year resolution is… (YY/Y and K/J)
It was as though a sorceress had uttered a magic spell of the highest degree, for every student, awake or asleep, suddenly jumped to his feet and within a few seconds, disappeared from the classroom. The English teacher, Miss Tyler, could only look on and sigh, wondering when she could get a new job. Preferably one that didn't have to deal with kids anymore. Absently, she fished around in her bag for some aspirin.
With empty classrooms came crowded corridors, as two boys had discovered a long time ago as they tried to squeeze themselves over to their lockers. It took a bit of shuffling, elbowing and plain shoving before they finally managed to get to where they wanted to.
"Phew! And Shizuka's been wondering why I seemed to have lost a bit of weight. How can you not when you have to play obstacle course everyday just to get to your locker?" the blonde grumbled, brushing a few errant bangs back as he concentrated on picking the lock of his locker.
"Jou, have you forgotten to bring your key to school again?"
"You know me best, Yugi. Woke up late this morning; I'm surprised I even managed to have breakfast before coming, but I guess I forgot to bring a few things…" Jou grinned sheepishly, but his bit of guilt was quickly wiped away by elation when he finally heard a click, and the lock came loose. In a matter of seconds, his locker door was swung open rather forcefully, causing the metal to ricochet off the closed locker on its side.
The one called Yugi sighed and shook his head, but did not say more as he was already quite used to his friend's forgetfulness. Replacing his textbook in his own locker, he glanced to his side and asked, "So how's Shizuka lately? I haven't seen her in weeks."
"She's okay. Just a little excited over being able to see again, so now she's been dragging mum all over town just to see everything. Says she loves to just sit there and watch the traffic lights change colours and see the cars move," Jou replied, a genuine smile blossoming on his lips as his eyes took a faraway look, as though he had fallen back into memory land.
Yugi knew what he was thinking about. Jou's younger sister, Shizuka, had been born with eye problems that only degenerated as she grew up. Just three years ago, she lost her sight completely, despite everything Jou and their mother did. The doctors had given them the bad news and only the bad news because they couldn't find anything good to say; for the longest time, everyone believed that the young girl's vision were gone for good.
Even though he knew it was positively evil to think of such a thing, Yugi was actually somewhat glad Shizuka lost her sight then. Because that was when Jou began to pour everything he had into praying to the gods, spending almost all his spare time in the temple that Yugi's grandfather owned. He even took to working there, hoping that his sincerity would eventually tug at the gods' heartstrings and revive his sister's eyes. Later, when Shizuka's eyes did get better, Jou decided on a permanent job at the temple as a way of expressing his gratitude to the gods for granting his wish.
And that was how Yugi had met Jou and gotten his first real friend. Before that, all the kids in class had laughed at him for living in a traditional Japanese temple, selling charms and wooden tablets to believers. His grandfather was even a well-known priest in the area, and was often invited to the homes of neighbours to ward off any evil spirits or improve the family's luck. However, with the advance of science and technology, what was once an unshakable foundation of belief and loyalty began to disappear. Nowadays, most people, especially the teenagers, had more faith in the gods of rock and roll then in the spirits of the natural world. Just for that simple reason, Yugi found it almost impossible to make friends, or even people who did not take one look at him and immediately brush him off as a religious fanatic. He was thankful he still had Jou.
"Hey, temple kids! What are you two still doing here? Shouldn't you be at your temple and praying already?" Ushio, the star of the football team, gloated as he walked pass. His gang of friends snickered as they followed close behind, ignoring the dirty looks Jou threw at them. For a moment, Yugi was worried that his friend would be unable to hold his cool and head into yet another all out fistfight.
Luckily, Jou merely muttered, "Some people just never grow up. And I don't get it. Why is it that we get called 'temple kids' just because we work at a temple? You know Bakura? His father owns a vegetable stall, but why doesn't he get called 'vegetable kid'? Apart from the fact that they'll have the living daylights beaten out of them by Bakura, but well…" – he shrugged offhandedly – "And Malik works for his sister at a museum, but he isn't called a 'museum kid' either! It's so unfair!"
"If anyone teased Malik for any reason at all, they'd probably find themselves stuck in a dark alley facing one scary boyfriend. You know how Malik's boyfriend is."
"True. Marik has got to be one of the scariest person alive," - Jou frowned as he recalled some Marik's handiwork – "But still… we're the only ones to get teased. What's so bad about working as a priest?"
"Nothing," Yugi chirped. "The people who tease us for being 'temple kids' are the same ones who'll be going to a temple and praying when finals come around. Isn't it amazing how fast time flies? We're going to graduate from high school next March already!"
"Yup! Oh, college here we come!" Jou grinned lopsidedly, his pearly whites appearing brighter under the harsh florescent lights of the school corridor. "And you're probably right; I'm sure Ushio will be the first one in the temple praying for help when exams come. I heard from his classmates that he's still failing his classes. But before that… we'll probably see a lot of our classmates in jii-chan's temple on New Year's Day. Even if they don't like to admit it, kids like us still like to buy the charms and wooden tablets (1) and pray for good luck for the coming year."
"But Jou, are you sure you want to work on New Year's Day? Jii-chan says you can have the day off…"
"Don't be silly, Yugi. You know how brisk business gets on festivals like that! If I don't work, the temple's going to be short handed. As it is, Shizuka's been whining about wanting to help out at the temple that day too. I think she just wants to see the crowds. And probably be one of the first to hang her tablet up in the temple; she's already been thinking about what to write for her New Year resolution on the tablet."
Yugi chuckled, his amethyst eyes shining at the thought. It was simply amazing how much the girl had opened up since her successful eye operation. To think she was the kind who used to smile only to assure her family that she was okay.
Shutting his locker, he began to walk away with his friend. The crowds had already pretty much dispersed by then, and it was much easier to get around the corridors.
"What about you, Yugi? Have you thought about your New Year resolution?"
"Me? Well…" he trailed off, with a single thought racing in his mind. Fix up my relationship with my boyfriend, he thought. But outwardly, he smiled. "Not yet. What about you? Maybe you'd like to be nicer to Kaiba-kun."
"YUGI!!" Jou yelled, his face burning a bashful red.
It was as though someone had raised the red alert alarm, and suddenly everyone was staring at the two boys and whispering among themselves. But no one was too surprised; Jounouchi Katsuya was among the nosiest person in school ever, especially when the name of one Kaiba Seto was mentioned.
The amethyst-eyed boy grinned, quickly ducking a swing of his friend's book bag. It was almost amusing to see how his boyfriend's best friend, Kaiba, continually try to hit on Jou, and then see Jou try his best to get the other boy off his back. Even so, Yugi was sure Jou actually liked this crazy banter with Kaiba, but was just too shy to admit it. Maybe this coming year, the two would finally make some progress…
…like his own relationship with his boyfriend.
He sighed inwardly.
Yugi looked up from his cup of coffee almost nervously, and glanced across the table where his boyfriend, Yami, was seated. It irked him a little to see Yami staring out of the coffee house they were in, acting as distracted as he looked. It was almost as if he dreaded being here, or that an executioner's room would be much more appealing. To think this was their first date in ages.
Lately, Yami had been, as he called it, 'busy' with a lot of things. So busy he was that he hardly had time for Yugi anymore. Sure, Yugi understood that as a college student, his boyfriend was probably bogged down by term papers and research, but was it possible that he did not even have the energy and time to call his boyfriend up? Now, even when they were out on rare date, Yami was distracted and not paying much attention to him. Yugi pouted inwardly.
He could still remember how things had begun between the two of them just barely three years ago, and how sweet things had been.
Yugi had been a freshman in high school, barely knowing his way around. In his first week of school, he had gotten lost between lessons, unable to find the chemistry labs and even Jou was nowhere to be found. Luckily, he had stumbled into a pair of seniors, Yami and Kaiba, who helpfully showed him the way. He still remembered how Yami seemed to be blushing whenever he caught his eyes, and how Kaiba had tried his best to hold back his snickers. At that time, Yugi had been too innocent to understand what was going on, and even thought that maybe Yami had some sort of speaking disability since he could hardly speak in his presence. However, things soon became a lot clearer when the crimson-eyed senior turned up at his temple a few weeks later.
Business had been a little slow that day, and Yugi was bored out of his mind. Luckily, Jou had been tending the stall with him and so there was a talking companion. Knowing how scary a bored Yugi could be (he probably still shivered when he thought of the pranks Yugi had played on him in his boredom), Jou had volunteered to sell the charms and tablets while Yugi just had to collect the money. And since nearly everything in the stall was 500 yen, all the bored teenager had to do was to sweep the 500 yen coins people tossed onto the counter top into the little money basket; it was much too simple a task to even consider using a cash register.
So Yugi just sat there, sweeping the coins whenever one came almost like one of those coin-eating machines in the arcade, not even looking up to see what was being sold. That was Jou's job, after all, so he didn't even bother. He was so entirely absorbed into doing his task that he did not even notice the gasp of surprise from his friend.
Suddenly, instead of another coin, someone had tossed a slip of paper onto the counter instead. Blinking, Yugi unfolded it. If anything, his curiosity and surprise doubled when he read the words written on the paper in the neatest handwriting ever: Mutou Yugi, will you be my boyfriend? He gasped, head immediately shooting up to see just who it was. He hadn't even known that someone liked him, let alone want to date him!
To his astonishment, standing right before him with a deep blush tingeing his face was Hatake Yami, the senior who had helped him back then. Behind him and sniggering was Kaiba Seto, his best friend and partner in crime, as the school population called him. In the weeks since meeting the two seniors, Yugi had quickly discovered just how popular they were; it wasn't too difficult to tell when they had scores of fan girls swooning after them and how even some of the boys stared after them. Add that to the fact that they always competed for the top spot in all examinations big and small, it was little wonder why even the teachers spoke of them in high regards.
It had taken a while for the message to fully sink into his head, but when it did, Yugi smiled and held up the slip of paper. Yami had burst into a grin as well, as did Kaiba and Jou. However, Yugi had shocked all three of them when he shook his head and replied, "No." The grin on Yami's face crumpled almost instantly like an imploding building and was about to leave when Yugi suddenly reached out to tug at his sleeve with no small amount of cheekiness.
"But we can start off as friends first." And that was all it took to make Yami lit up with joy again. While the crimson-eyed senior looked like he wanted to run into the stall and hug Yugi, Kaiba was leaning into the counter and asking Jou out, to which Jou's only response was a confused, "Huh?"
In a matter of weeks, Yugi and Yami went from good friends to boyfriends, from simply holding hands to kissing and then making out. It wasn't long before Yugi found out that Yami's parents were both doctors, which was why he was always able to afford buying all the expensive presents for him and taking him out on extravagant dates. The expensive things tamed down when Yugi told his boyfriend flat out that he liked things simple and that his jii-chan always told him that teenagers should never spend more than what they could earn. Needless to say, Yami obliged. It was always like that; Yami always listened to what Yugi had to say. Things did not change even when Yami graduated from high school and went into college. He always made time for his little boyfriend.
Sometimes, Yugi believed that Yami poured all his love and affections into him because his parents were always working and seldom at home. He even recalled that Kaiba once told him, as nonchalantly as it was, that Yami was never a very touchy-feely person until they met him.
Recently however, Yami seemed so distant and always claimed that he was busy when Yugi tried calling him out for a short date. It couldn't really be school, he thought, since Kaiba was still looking for excuses to hang around Jou on a weekly basis; it used to be daily, until Jou snapped and warned him that if he saw him again in the next few days, he would waste no time in sending him off to the South Pole with a few postage stamps.
Something tickle his humour and Yugi smiled as he remembered the good o' days before sighing again. Vaguely, he wondered if Yami had found someone else in college. After all, he had visited his boyfriend in his college once, and was rather surprised at the number of good-looking girls and boys around. And there was still a Hatake Yami fanclub around. Blasted fan girls and boys…
Finally, the elder boy turned back to him.
"I was just wondering… maybe you'd like to come over to my place tonight for dinner? Jii-chan and mum says they haven't seen you in a long time."
Yami offered a soft but distant smile as he replied, "I'd love to but… I really have to finish up my term paper tonight or I'll never make it in time for the deadline. I'm sorry, Yugi, but I promise you that we can go out this coming Sunday. My paper should be done by then and we can go out for dinner at our favourite restaurant. Would you like that?"
There was really nothing much Yugi could say but nod. Slowly, he went back to nursing his coffee. All the while, he was staring at his boyfriend's cup of untouched coffee.
Staring at the box of cream puffs his mother had asked him to deliver to Yami's house, Yugi wondered if his boyfriend would mind. Yami did say that he had to finish his term paper, and here he was, intruding on his study time. Never mind the fact that Yami adored any sweet confections his mother made. Then again, it had been two days since their date at the coffee house, and knowing how hardworking Yami was, he had probably already finished his work. Or at least finishing up. Maybe he would even get the chance to feed Yami the cream puffs and get a very sweet kiss in return.
With that thought, Yugi stepped into the elevator eagerly. With a soft 'ding', the doors flew open and the teenager walked out, rounding a corner to the rented apartment Yami shared with Kaiba. However, his legs froze at the picture that greeted him, his body still half hidden by the edge of the wall.
There was Yami standing at the door, looking as per normal. He was dressed in a casual dress shirt and a pair of black slacks, as though he was going out on a date with someone. And beside him was Anzu Misaki, Yami's ex-classmate in high school; Yugi remembered her as the popular cheerleader back then and much sought after by boys. There was nothing too strange with this picture except the two were kissing almost as though the world would end tomorrow, arms groping and hips grinding.
Everything that had happened between himself and Yami and Yami's recent actions seemed to click inside Yugi's mind, and he wasted no time in leaving silently. The elevator had never left the floor, as though it was Cinderella's silver pumpkin carriage waiting to fetch the princess home. As the doors slipped shut with a soft 'whoosh', Yugi thought that the magic had finally worn off.
People always said that upon witnessing such acts of betrayal, one would most likely end up in a place one found comfort in but had no idea how one actually managed to get there. It would, they said, feel as though one's head was filled with nothing but cotton wool, much as though it were blank and unthinking. Others even said that the cotton wool would be completely soaked, but the tears would not fall until one was at that special place. Yugi would have to disagree with this statement if he ever got the chance to.
He knew exactly what bus he could and could not take, which paths were safe and which ones to avoid, and his tears had already began to stream down while he was still in the elevator. He did not drop what was in his hand; oh no, the box of cream puffs were still secure in his arms. And he knew exactly how he had gotten to Jou's place.
But one thing he could account to being too shocked and upset to think properly was that he had forgotten that Jou had recently acquired a habit of going clubbing on Friday nights. And Yugi was never fond of such activities.
Sighing, Yugi thanked Shizuka who had answered the door and refused her kind-hearted invitation inside. She had almost wanted to just pull him in when she saw his tears, but he assured her that he was going home right away and that he'd call her when he got back. Hesitantly, she let it go.
Too impatient to wait for the bus, Yugi decided to just walk home. Half way on the stroll, he heard someone calling his name.
Said brunette was gesturing for him to get closer through the open window of his luxurious black sports car. Being the inventor of a virtual reality system and so a millionaire in his own rights, it seemed that Kaiba owned the widest array of electronic gadgets and the nicest cars that Jou often drooled over.
"Are you going to Jou's? I'll drive you there."
"Jou's out clubbing," he answered.
Kaiba frowned. "Is that so? I wanted to ask him out for some coffee. There's a new café in town, and my younger brother told me that they have the best chocolate cake ever. With Jou's sweet tooth, I figured he would be tempted enough to go out with me this time…" he mumbled in frustration. Shrugging it off, he looked up again.
"So are you going home? I'll drive you back, since Jou isn't around, and Yami will kill me if he ever found out that I left his precious boyfriend alone in the streets at night."
Yugi had almost wanted to refute Kaiba's words, had wanted to correct him that he wasn't Yami's precious boyfriend anymore, and just simply reject the kind offer. After all, this was Yami's best friend, so there was little reason why he would not know what was going on between Yami and Anzu. And perhaps he had just simply 'neglected' to tell poor, little Yugi. But the other part of his mind, the logical part, knew that Kaiba was also his friend and would never hold back this type of information or hurt him deliberately. In fact, the millionaire probably had some answers for him.
"Can we talk? I have something I need to ask you. About Yami."
Kaiba raised a suspicious eyebrow, but otherwise, nothing else betrayed what he thought of the sudden request.
"Hop on then."
This was the second time Yugi found himself in a coffee house in the last three days, but something was different this time. Many things were, in fact. For one, he was drinking coffee with Kaiba Seto instead of Hatake Yami. In the three years since Yugi knew the young millionaire, he couldn't remember when was the last time he had spent so much time with him alone. Usually, either Jou or Yami was with them. But now that he had tried it, Yugi wondered why he had never done this before. It was quite an interesting experience, actually.
And at least Kaiba drank his coffee.
Setting down his cup of espresso back on its designated plate, the brunette sat back into the large cushion seat. Occasionally, he would look at Yugi, look away, and then went back to drinking his coffee. He was already on his third cup. Still, in all the time they had spent in the coffee house and ride in the car, Kaiba had never pressed Yugi for anything. It seemed that he wasn't even eager to know what his best friend's long time boyfriend wanted to ask him. That, or he was incredibly patient.
Yugi thought it was probably a combination of both.
Finally, Yugi felt the urge to speak and was mentally prepared for any answers he might receive.
Kaiba folded the newspaper he had been reading and put it away. Crossing his legs and making himself comfortable, he waited for Yugi to continue.
"Is there anything you want to tell me?" Yugi asked.
"Apart from my disappointment in not seeing Jou tonight? I don't think so."
Silence reigned between them again, the tension thick. The other patrons of the coffee house seemed oblivious as they went on drinking their black coffee and laughing boisterously at their jokes. A young waitress walked by, an empty tray in hand, the rubber soles of her shoes making a constant squeaking noise on the wooden panels of the floor.
"Is Yami going out with Anzu? Is that why he hasn't had time for me at all lately?"
"With Anzu?" Kaiba narrowed his eyes. "I swear to god that she is the last thing he will consider going out with even if the human race were facing extinction and they were the last two human beings left on earth."
It was such a cliché way of explaining the situation, and Yugi couldn't help but feel disappointed.
"Like Adam and Eve?"
"Like Adam and Eve, except that Adam would kiss the nearest tree before lying a finger on Eve. And that he would willingly leave Eden if that meant he wouldn't have to see her again."
"…It's not funny."
"It's not supposed to be," Kaiba answered, taking a short punctuating sip from his cup before putting it down again.
Yugi pouted, almost shooting daggers with his amethyst eyes, partially hidden underneath his golden bangs. He remained that way for a while before he finally gave in, and fell back into his lush cushion seat much like a deflated balloon giving up the last of its air.
"Then do you know what Yami has been busy with the past few weeks? It can't all be college, can it?"
"It can," – Kaiba nodded sagely – "But it can also not be. I wouldn't know. After all, we are from different faculties, even if we are from the same college."
That much was true. Kaiba majored in computer engineering, while Yami was studying for a degree in medicine like his parents.
"You haven't answered my first question."
"If I know what Yami has been busy with the past couple of weeks? I'm not his babysitter," Kaiba replied casually, without any sarcasm dripping. "If he's been busy, I wouldn't know. All I know is that I've been quite busy myself."
"Busy looking for ways to get Jou to agree on an actual date," Yugi chimed, rolling his eyes. He usually wasn't the type to take an offensive tone, nor was he the sarcastic type, but he felt that he was at least privileged to being a little snide tonight.
"Exactly. That's my New Year resolution, in fact."
For once, Yugi finally understood why Jou always got so frustrated with the brunette, and why he had never enjoyed spending time alone with him. The millionaire never lied, but he never said the exact truth either. Ambiguity seemed to be his trademarked forte.
(1): The wooden tablet is just a piece of wooden board where they have a picture of a horse drawn one side. People write their wishes on the other side, and then hang it up on stands inside the temple grounds for everyone to see. In Chinese, it's called 'hui ma', which literally means 'draw horse'. I've no idea what they call it in Japanese though.