Hey guys! This is my first piece of work- I hope you like it. I crieda bitafter proof reading it, but I'm afraid it's a bit rushed so feel free to criticise…
Behind Haunting Eyes
His bruised body, buffeted by the wind. Harsh wind, scouring his face off tears. Arm growing numb, losing all sensation. Rain lashing out, drenching his clothes. Making them heavy. How long have I been hanging on? Two hours? Two days? Maybe it was best to just let go, give up, no hope left…
"Yugi! Never give up hope!" The voice of his Yami cut through like fire, warming his heart, bringing a flame of hope.
"Yami, I'm glad you're here," Yugi murmured.
His Yami didn't answer.
"Yami, we're going to die, aren't we?" Yugi sighed wearily, flame of hope extinguished.
It was the Summer Solstice. Yugi was standing on the edge of a cliff, gazing out at the stunning view. A river flowed rampantly at the bottom of the gorge, and a few sparse trees had managed to miraculously root themselves into the rock face. A seagull shrieked forlornly, circling the gorge for any scraps of food. Yes, the struggle for survival was going on everywhere, but little did he know how much that would apply to him. In the distance, the azure blue of the sea sparkled, and the sun hung low in the sky. It was a warm late afternoon, no sign of rain at all.
"Don't say that Yugi, just hang in there for a bit longer- someone's bound to have heard your cries."
"This island has been deserted for months now, ever since Pegasus left! There is nothing left apart from ruins and seagulls!" Yugi wailed despairingly. He closed his eyes. "Wake me up Yami, when this is all over."
By the sands of the Pharaoh, he's delirious! Yami thought. Time's running out…
A voice interrupted his musings. "Yugi!"
He turned around.
"I've been looking for you," Kaiba said, and stepped out from behind a tree. His eyes were in the shadows, and Yugi got a chill down his spine as Kaiba started walking slowly towards him. "So many years I have waited for you to come back here, to this very spot."
"Remember this place, Yugi?"
He shook his head.
"Nature tore down the walls with her own hands, after you and Pegasus had left. Still no recollection?"
"Walls?" Yugi asked. Think, Yugi, think! His Yami appeared in a flash of light.
"Is everything OK, Yugi?" He asked concernedly. Yami looked up, took in his surroundings, and gasped. He spun around, with a look of horror, and noticed the still figure of Kaiba, his cloak billowing in the light breeze.
…Kaiba…the forest…the cliff…Blue Eyes…
"Yugi," he demanded urgently. "Why have you brought us here?"
"You see Yugi, your Yami knows what I am talking about," Kaiba said sinisterly. He was standing two metres away from him now, and Yugi felt the urge to step backwards.
"H-how can you see my Yami?"
"Yugi!" Yami was almost shouting now. "You have to get away from here- now!"
"Wise deduction, Yami, but a tad too late. No escape now. Yugi," Kaiba said, turning to him- Yugi still couldn't see his eyes, until Kaiba lifted his head and stared him straight in the eye, "this is the exact spot where you killed me."
"Arghhh!" Yugi screamed at the memory of that chilling gaze. Even in repose could he not escape that chilling penetrating stare. His body wracked with sobs as he fought with his mind to just simply forget…
It was drawing late now. Yugi was bathed in the sun's warm orange glow, as it began to dip beneath the horizon. He heard a creak as the branch above gave way slightly. Yugi glanced down into the boiling waves of the abyss and suddenly realized how grave his situation was. He was too tired, there was no way to pull himself up; no foothold he could gain. He could only hang on for so long.
Finally Yugi had the courage to speak. "H-how long have we been here, Yami? Yami?"
"B-but you can't be dead!" Yugi gasped. "I saw you yesterday in Battle City. You were duelling Rex for fun."
"Duelling, hmmm," Kaiba mused. "Now who invented the game again? Ahh, Maximilian Pegasus. I forget his name sometimes, but everything comes back when the pain does. Ahh, the pain. You're boiling away in the deepest flames of the Underworld, yet you're reliving every second of your past life, cursed by a promise your soul has uttered in its final moment of mortal existence." He spat the last words. "Know how it feels, Yugi?"
Yugi was silent.
"I spent the most of my short life devoted to this game, organizing tournaments, duelling amongst the best, although it seems my best wasn't good enough…"
He fixed Yugi with his unearthly stare again and said, "By the sands of time, I challenge you to a duel."
"Wha…" Yugi began, but as predicted, Yami's spirit automatically flowed in to take control of his body. The bomb had been activated.
"And I accept. But tell me, Kaiba, what are we duelling for?" Yami said smoothly.
"Let's just say this is a rematch of the famous duel we fought before you moved onto the Duellist Kingdom Finals. Only this time, I'm duelling for vengeance, for revenge, to avenge the last promise my cursed soul pledged before it fell to it's doom…"
"What are you saying, Kaiba?" Yami demanded, wide eyed. "You didn't fall, Kaiba, Yugi stopped me from declaring an attack! You won the duel, and went on to duel Pegasus!"
"Spare me your pathetic lies! I've spent every single atom looking for you to avenge my death ever since your Celtic Guardian struck my Blue Eyes, knocking me to my oblivion."
"Enough! Let's Duel!"
The rest had happened so fast. Yugi could only watch in anguish as Yami fought a losing duel. Everything he threw out this Kaiba countered. It was almost as if Kaiba had known every single of Yami's moves.
Something wasn't right. A fierce wind had picked up around the duel; droplets of rain splashed onto the duellists' determined faces. And Yami was losing strength, taking steps backwards, trying to escape the seemingly unstoppable Kaiba. Yami was standing right on the edge of the cliff when Kaiba drew his winning card. He laughed with triumph, threw out a card Yugi had never seen or even heard of before, and ended it all in an explosion of colour.
Kaiba laughed again evilly, as Yami took another step backwards, to shield himself from the onslaught. Kaiba's laugh continued as Yami and Yugi lost their balance and tumbled off the cliff. He didn't notice Yami's hand desperately grab a branch, and the other finding a grip on a protrusion of rock though.
"My vengeance is complete," he heard Kaiba say to the wind. "May my soul now rest in peace, after fifty years of suffering, and if Yugi's soul can feel a tenth of what I have suffered, then I shall rest even happier."
And with that, Kaiba faded away into the dusk, his haunting eyes remaining for one extra second, glancing longingly at the world, before they too vanished.
"I've been thinking, Yugi," Yami said finally. He spoke slowly, as if he'd thought long and hard about what he was going to say next. "You and I both know that that branch isn't going to take our weight for much longer…" This was emphasized by a creaking from above. "…Yugi, we need to think of something now."
"I don't understand…" Yugi knew Yami was trying to tell him something, but he was in no state of mind to figure out what.
"Yugi," Yami sighed, "it is my fault we're hanging off this cliff. I should've never duelled this Kaiba…"
"What do mean, this Kaiba?" Yugi cried. "There's only one, and I think something awful must've happened to him to make him hate me like that."
"Yes, something did," Yami said softly. "Like he said, it happened a long time ago."
"What do you mean, Yami?"
"I understand it all now, the sudden weather change, everything, this Kaiba, his haunting eyes…I killed him as he said, fifty years ago."
"Wha…?" Yugi could only gape. "What are you saying, Yami, that there is more than one Kaiba? But how…?"
"Let me explain. There are some places in space and time, where the very fabric of reality is so thin that causes and effects of other realities overlapping us can seep into ours. Today is Midsummer's Day, the Summer Solstice, from the Latin solstitium- sol-for 'sun', and the past of- sistere-'stands still', when time itself stands still."
"When time itself stands still, it is very easy for beings from other realities to seep into ours, and the Kaiba that I killed in one reality has entered this one, although for him it happened fifty years ago. The circumstances needed to be the same- the weather, the time, the people there…it must have been Fate- that you came to this very place, at this time. That's why I told you to run, Yugi. This Kaiba is very dangerous, and as he ceases to have a human body, so he can perform acts of great supernaturalism. He was a danger to us, and wanted to hurt us, but luckily he chose to try to destroy us the same way we destroyed him."
"By blasting us off the cliff, like we, in a different reality must have done to him!"
"Yes Yugi! You understand now. Then you must also understand why I must ask you to forgive me shortly, for what I am going to do. Remember this, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of alternate realities. In one, maybe I failed to save the world five thousand years ago, and everyone is now living under the reign of some Supreme Dark Lord like Marik, or maybe Napoleon won the Battle Of Waterloo, then what world would we be living in now?
Yugi, you have to listen to me." He spoke urgently now. "The only way I can save you now is if you sacrifice your Millennium Puzzle, break it apart. The force of the blast should be enough for you to get over the edge of the cliff, to save yourself."
"But what about you, Yami?"
"I will pay for what I have done in accepting the duel, risking it all- my hot headedness- and for what I did in another reality," he said quietly.
"But that's not fair!" Yugi cried. "How can you be held responsible for what another you did?"
"Reality works in many ways, Yugi, and it is never completely fair- just like life. By duelling or even interacting with this Kaiba, I must've done something to upset the cosmic balance. Yugi, in this world, I wasn't good enough to save us both, but in countless others, I will do, and I will be there, so I shall still exist in a sense."
Yugi was weeping now. "I can't believe this is how it's all going to end. After everything, Duellist Kingdom, duelling Pegasus, Battle City, saving Bakura…"
"Time is running out. I can feel it; I can feel the Universe preparing to split this reality into two- one where we both perish, or another where you survive. Now which one do you want to be in?"
Yugi wept silently, refusing to accept, refusing to believe.
"Shh, don't cry," Yami said, laying a hand on Yugi's shoulder. "It's neither my time, nor place anymore. The Kaiba that I killed in another reality has made sure of that."
"B-but will I ever s-see you again?"
"I will always be here, in the sigh of the wind, the echoes of the desert, guiding those lost souls. Remember me whenever you duel, when you feel the freedom in your soul, and remember me in the way that I will always remember you. The strength and courage is in your violet eyes, I can see that. Do not fear my obliteration, Yugi. Death is not as bad as you humans have made it out to be. It is like a long eternal sleep, quite peaceful really."
"But…" he sobbed uncontrollably now. "W-who's going to be there to guide me when all hope is lost? Who's going to be there and be my best friend? Who taught me how to stand up for myself, and to b-believe…?"
It was time now. Yami embraced Yugi in a heartrending hug, before uttering his final words.
"Yes, Yugi, always remember the one most important lesson I have ever taught…remember to always…" His voice was fading now, fading from the depths of Yugi's mind. "Always…believe in the heart…of the cards…"
Yami's voice was lost as a whisper in the breeze. Through the mist of tears, Yugi saw and felt his Millennium Puzzle shatter into pieces, falling apart. Yami appeared one last time, frozen in shock, and a golden arrow pierced his heart, before he was engulfed by a flare of light. Yugi was blinded by the glare, and thrown upwards by the force of the blast. He was thrown onto the cliff ground, and lay there for what seemed like an eternity, listening to the pieces of the Millennium Puzzle drop into the river, to be carried away forever, to the four corners of the world. The rain had stopped. Yugi picked himself up slowly, and wiped the tears away.
"Yugi!" A voice. It was Téa. She ran over, and hugged him. His face was pale, emotionless, and he let himself be swept up in Téa's embrace. "Guys! I've found Yugi, over here!"
A few seconds later, the rest of the group appeared, out of breath from running.
"Aw man, we looked everywhere for you," Joey gasped.
"Yes, a few of us thought you'd disappeared to the Shadow Realm!" Bakura joked, shooting a glance at Joey.
Tristan stared Yugi up and down. "Something looks different about you, Yugi. I don't know if it's the light, but I'd say you looked like you'd just come from another world."
"And your puzzle's missing!" Téa exclaimed.
"I…I didn't need it anymore…" Yugi said, faltering.
"But what about your spirit?" Téa said, obliviously. "The one that helps yo…"
"I think we should let him have some time to himself, don't you, guys?" Bakura said meaningfully, making furtive motions that they should leave.
"Oh what, yeah, tell you what, Yugi, come down to our campsite when you feel like it," Tristan said, promptly placing a hand on Joey and Téa, and shoving them away. "Let's give him some space, guys. Something's obviously happened and I think he wants to be left alone."
"And another thing, why do we have to listen to you…"
"Because I'm the tallest and…"
Yugi listened to his friend's voices fade away, as they rounded the forest, and turned his attention back to his reflections. The sunset blazed ruby red, the sky above turning a shade of violet as it transcended towards darkness.
There was so much he didn't understand, and never would do. A light breeze danced through the trees, and something blew to the ground in front of Yugi. It was a duelling card of some sort.
He picked it up, and turned it over.
It was one of Pegasus' soul cards that Yugi had impulsively slipped into his pocket, so long ago it seemed. It had been blank then but now, as Yugi stared into it's depths, a familiar figure of a Pharaoh appeared slowly on the front, in his classic stance, frozen in a wink.
So what do you think, guys? I find the plot comes better when I visualize it, like as an episode, but that's just me, I suppose. Do you like the reference I made at the end to the sky being the same colour as Yami and Yugi's eyes?
Read n' review people, I need to know if to make it more/less emotional, make it shorter, etc…