By animeninjaNIPPON

"You're my best friend, and you don't even trust me." It had been over a month, but I could still hear Haga's words echoing in the emptiness of my soul. He was right, I realized. He was the only real friend I'd ever had, and I didn't want to take the chance of getting crushed, so I didn't bother getting as close to him as I possibly could have.

Deep down inside, I wanted to announce to all of Japan that I loved Insector Haga – that he was my best friend, my partner… and possibly, my soul mate.

I sat alone in the sunset-illuminated alley where it all began. Every time I thought about Haga, I grew even more miserable. Every time I thought about how much he hated me, I felt like someone was poking the tip of a dagger into my chest. I just wanted to shove the whole blade in there and be done with it.

I clenched a shard of glass in my fist. It wasn't sharp at all. I began to wonder if I was some type of sub-human when I was suddenly struck in the head with a yellow disk. As I leaned over to pick it up, I noticed that my hand was dripping blood. It didn't really matter though –

"Ryuzaki?" My thoughts were interrupted by a voice. It was Jonouchi. "I came to get my disk." He picked it up.

He could have just left me alone to think about where I went wrong, but he had to play the hero. "When we were dueling, you didn't seem to really care about winning. Is something wrong?"

I didn't want to hear it. "Rot in Hell, you yellow-haired son-of-a-bitch!" I snapped, turning around. "You've ruined my life enough already!"

"Look," he responded angrily, "I know you're trying to pretend that there's nothing going on between you and Haga. But just remember this – a real man values his friends." With that, he was gone.

I lay down, staring at the sunset. I still didn't get how it could change colors like that, but maybe it didn't matter. I continued to look into the sky until I saw Haga's head come into view.

"Ryuzaki, I still love you, very much," he said. At first I thought it was an illusion, but when I got up and saw that he was actually there, I jumped.

I threw my arms around him. I wanted to tell him that I loved him, that he meant more to me than anything, but all I could manage was "I'm sorry."

"Don't apologize," he replied softly, tightening his grip around me. "I just got mad at you for losing, and getting me shocked." He paused for a moment. "And I accused you of being too proud…"

"Let's face it," I sighed. "We're both obsessed with pride. We're men, after all." I kissed him. "By the way," I added, "I still have one of your cards." I reached for my deck with my bloody hand. Haga grabbed my wrist.

"Ryuzaki…" he muttered as he wrapped my hand in a bandage. (He always kept some in his pockets, seeing as he was used to getting beat up.) "There. Now let us speak no more of it."

I put my other hand to his cheek. He smiled. I leaned in and kissed him with ever-growing passion, thinking to myself that pride meant nothing without something – or someone – to be proud of.

"Let's blame Jonouchi for this mess," Haga suggested.

"Why not?" I agreed. I didn't really care – I was just glad to have my soul mate back.

End of part seventeen

End of story

Well, that was my first yaoi fic. I hope you enjoyed it. It took a long, time, but I finally finished it! Anyhoo, thanks for reading!