Okay, I know I haven't updated in forever. I kind of forgot about this story, since no one responded . . . except joeyluver-dragonofra and Masami Mistress Of Fire, thank you! Anyway, I'm going to give this one more shot, now that the character-sorting system's up. If people review, I will continue! I promise! Flames welcome, too!


And an all-too familiar voice replied, "Yeah, family – HOLY SHIT! YUGI!" Before he could turn around, the blond had stepped between Reki and the door. "Yug! What do you think you're doing?"

Yugi blinked, startled. "I was trying to find your apartment, but I got lost, and Reki said I could stay here. I'm doing him a favor –"

Before he could finish, Joey'd grabbed Reki by the shirt. "You dirty –"

"He said yes, Jonouchi. Now get the hell away from me and out of here."

"He doesn't know what he's doing. Let him go."

The other boys surrounded them, and one Yugi didn't know said, "Don't interfere with business, Jonouchi. 'Sides, he said he was alone."

"He's just got a family problem. A big one."

"So he is alone. Get your stuff and leave."

"Not without my friend," He glared down the older teens and started to raise his fists. Yugi looked around. If it came down to a fight, not even Joey could punch through the huge guys around them.

In a quiet voice, he whispered, "Please, Joey, what's going on?"

Joey dropped his stance and knelt on the floor, looking his friend in the eyes. "Listen to me, Yug. These guys aren't your friends. You can't go in there."

The emotion in his friend's eyes and voice began to clear up the mess of feelings Yugi had been lost in since that afternoon. "But . . . they're very nice. They said they were going to help me." Out of nowhere, anger spouted. "They're a lot nicer than you were when we first met."

Joey nodded. "Go ahead, Yug. If it helps, you can think about that. I promise, you can hate me later, okay? But remember our friendship. Please. You have to trust me."

"They gave me a granola bar," Yugi insisted, still not thinking clearly.

Joey stared at it for a moment, and Yugi swore he could see tears beginning to form in the brown eyes. "Yug, that thing has –"

"Say the word and you're dead," Unshai interrupted. "You know the rules."

"– bad stuff in it," Joey finished, sending a split-second glare towards the taller teen. "They're trying to trick you into thinking that they're your friends. Please, Yug, you have to trust me on this."

Yugi frowned to himself, trying to get the meaning of the words through his dazed mind. Reki patted his hand. "This idiot doesn't know what he's talking about, Yugi. We're your friends. Your new friends."

Yugi began to nod, then shook his head, then nodded, putting a hand up to his head. "I-I don't feel so good . . ."

"Yug." The tone in Joey's voice managed to focus Yugi's attention. "You have to trust me when I say this. You don't want to do this, Yug. If we've ever been friends, if we ever trusted each other at all, if we ever did anything for each other, you have to trust me on this. If you never want to see me again – if you ever doubt my judgment on this, then you can hate me all you want. After this, you can hate me for all eternity. But please, Yug, just trust me on this. Please, Yug."

Yugi had stopped blinking, and was just staring at Joey, kneeling, one hand held out towards the shorter teen. The sincerity in his voice and eyes made its way through the emotions that had began to build up since the day Yami got his body, and touched a small, frightened boy, who would have preferred to see Joey and these punks play a Duel Monsters game instead of threaten each other with fists. He didn't hear Reki's comments, or see the glances the strange teens exchanged.

"Trust me."

Yugi pulled his hand from Reki's grip, placing the other hand, along with the half-eaten granola bar, in Joey's. The blond curled his fingers around Yugi's and stood, once again glaring at Reki.

"He's made his decision. Now I think we'll take your advice and leave."

As they walked through the crowd and the front door, Yugi heard Unshari's voice – "Fine. But don't expect to just waltz back in here tomorrow, Jonouchi."

When they got outside, Joey put the granola bar in his pocket and checked Yugi's temperature. "I think you're sick, Yug. We need to get out of here. You mind if I carry you?" Yugi shook his head, a bit dazed, as his friend pulled off his jacket, draping it over Yugi's shoulders. In one smooth movement, he picked the smaller boy up off the ground, embracing him like an infant he was rocking to sleep. Joey hunched over him as he ran through the rain, and Yugi found himself huddling into the meager warmth of his friend's shirt. As he adjusted to the cold, he felt as if he was getting warmer, and he snuggled, bordering on the edge of sleep.

And then they walked through a door, and a familiar bell rang, and he heard his name exclaimed by several people simultaneously, followed by a few repetitions of Joey's name.

As Joey put him carefully down on the couch, he heard voices above him, but didn't pay much attention to them as he finally fell asleep.

TBC . . .