A/N: Well, here it is, the epilogue to In Memories Forgotten. I've had a great time writing this story and I hope all the readers have enjoyed it just as much. Thank you once again to all the reviewers (Yay! 100 reviews!) I send virtual hugs to all of you.
In Memories Forgotten
It was the perfect day to savor a good mood. The summer sun shone down happily on the forest, which was green and vibrant and full of songbirds. A warm breeze made the leaves dance on their branches and the flowers eagerly raised their heads to meet the warm rays of the sun. Yes, it was an absolutely, positively perfect day to be outside, and Yugi was not going to waste it.
He surveyed his new vegetable garden critically, searching for any weeds or signs of unwanted insects. He knelt down to pull up a few intruding plants, happily noting that the carrots were doing quite well, then frowned as he heard a small scuffling sound. Yugi looked up, but saw nothing and no one and continued inspecting the neatly planted rows.
Then the sound reached his ears again. Yugi turned around and stared for a while at the surrounding gardens, but still saw nothing. Beginning to feel suspicious, Yugi cautiously turned back to the tomato plants he was tending to.
Suddenly the sound came again, but much closer than it had been before, and Yugi had no time to react as he was grabbed from behind. Yugi shrieked and struggled as he was dragged away from the garden, but was unable to escape the grasp of his captor.
"Atemu, let go of me!"
Atemu just laughed and, holding Yugi tightly against him, softly nuzzled his neck.
"Now give me one good reason why I should," Atemu said.
Instead of answering, Yugi said, "You know, you're not as stealthy as you used to be."
Atemu pouted, eliciting a giggle from Yugi.
It had been several months since they had come back to the house, though Yugi wasn't sure exactly how long it had been. Neither of them kept very good track of the days. Thus far, no one from the village had bothered them. Doubtless the villagers thought that the "witch" and the "monster" were dead and gone, which suited Yugi and Atemu just fine.
The adjustments that Atemu had had to make from being a nightwalker to being human had been interesting, to say the least. He had to learn to eat regularly again, for one thing, and Yugi had discovered that Atemu had a ravenous appetite. Thankfully, when Hikaru had resurrected the house for them, so to speak, she had equipped it with a fully-stocked kitchen. And, although Atemu was no longer a nightwalker, he had retained his excellent hearing and adeptness at stealth, which made him an excellent hunter. Yugi had also begun his little vegetable garden, which he hoped would serve them well when winter came.
Atemu also had to adjust to being able to walk in the sun. Although he enjoyed the feeling, he often kept to the shadows, a habit that had been ingrained into him over the centuries. Yugi doubted if it was a habit that Atemu would ever break.
Although it was a bit dangerous, Atemu had on a few occasions journeyed to the cemetery to visit his mother's grave. Atemu had told Yugi what had happened when he had momentarily passed on into the next life, and it made Yugi glad that Atemu had gotten to see his mother again, even if only for a little while. Yugi could tell when Atemu was thinking about her. He would stare off into the distance with a wistful look on his face, smiling to himself as he remembered her.
Yugi did not think about his father often. For a while it had bothered him that his father thought that his mother's death was Yugi's fault, but a couple days after Atemu and Yugi had escaped the hunters someone had appeared at their gate. It was Mai, and she came up to the gate, pounded on it and demanded to see Yugi. Mai had been wary of Atemu at first, but Yugi had reassured her that everything was fine.
Mai hadn't heard that the "witch" had been killed as she hadn't been back to the village since the night of Yugi's almost-execution. She had been searching the forest for him, hoping that she would find him before the hunters did. Mai had been afraid that Yugi was being kept as a prisoner by the "monster", but Yugi explained everything that had happened and how Atemu had given his own life to save Yugi's. In return, Mai refuted everything that Yugi's father had said at the witch trial. His mother's death was not his fault, she said, any more than it was her fault.
Now that her vow to Yugi's mother was fulfilled, Mai wasn't sure what she was supposed to do. She said that she wanted to return to the city where she had grown up but didn't have the money. Thus, Atemu gave her several pieces of jewelry that had belonged to the original owner of the house. Selling them would give her all the money she would ever need. Mai bade them farewell and promised to visit sometime in the future, then left to pursue her own future, leaving Yugi to finally make peace with his past.
"Yugi? Is something wrong?" Atemu asked.
Yugi snapped out of his thoughts. "No," he said. "Nothing's wrong."
Yugi grinned suddenly and splashed Atemu with the water can and, as Atemu spluttered in surprise, squirmed out of his grasp and dashed through the garden. Atemu chased Yugi around the house several times until he finally managed to catch him. The two tumbled onto the grass, laughing and panting.
Yugi looked up at Atemu, their eyes locking. Atemu grinned.
"I love you, Yugi," he said softly.
Yugi smiled back at him. "I love you, too."
And Atemu leaned down for a kiss while the sun blissfully shone on the forest.
A/N: Thanks again, readers.