Woah, is this for real? I actually finished a multi-parter! But I bet not a lot of you saw the ending coming so soon, cuz I didn't imagine it would end so soon either. :P But this is it! Here we go!
Title: Choose Your Reality 6/6
Author: Sorceress Fantasia
Pairings: Too many to write here; mainly YY/Y
Warnings: AU, slight angst, spoilers for YGO's ending, minor OCs, fluff and sap
Disclaimer: Yugi belongs to Yami who belongs to Yugi who belongs to Yami who belongs to Yugi who belongs to Yami... Ahem, so you get the idea. Anyway, I do not own Yugioh. I own only this plot.
Note: Inspired by a short (one-shot, in fact) manga by Watase Yui, who is also the author of 'Fushigi Yugi' and 'Ayashi no Ceres'.
Sex, in many instances, could solve a whole lot of problems. Like a lover's spat, for instance. Make-up sex, Yami had heard, could be much more passionate and emotionally satisfying than normal sex. Jou had once tried to explain what make-up sex could be like by telling him in detail something he did with Mai, but Yami had raised an eyebrow and questioned his friend's sanity before running off. After all, there was no way Yami was ever going to fall in love with someone other than Yugi, and Yami did not believe in sex without love.
Sometimes, at night, he would muffle himself with a pillow as he imagined Yugi moaning and writhing under his skilful ministrations, softly whispering his name with a raw throat and lidded eyes. And he would try not to imagine Anzu screaming the name he wanted to scream, touching the skin he wanted to touch, and kissing the lips he wanted to kiss.
Yes, there was no doubting that Yami desired making love to Yugi. It was as though through that action alone, he would cement the fact that Yugi belonged to him and him alone. And Yugi would finally stop running off to Anzu every time he had a bit of free time or when she called.
Just last night, Yami had gotten his way. He could finally pin a memory of sensations and a faint smell of vanilla to the many fantasies he'd had. But it wasn't a dream come true, because as many problems sex could solve, it could also cause just as many problems.
At least, that was what Yami thought as he sat slumped in the living room couch, pretending to read the day's papers. The almost amusing headlines 'Canada Legalizes Heterosexual Unions' and 'Domino Mayor Vetoes Heterosexual Unions' failed to attract his attention, for his eyes were glued to the lithe figure puttering in the kitchen, cleaning up the remnants of their late lunch. Their house was nearly silent, except for the sounds of dishes clattering against one another and the constant buzzing of the ceiling fan.
The feeling was completely wrong.
The first time their lips had touched after Yami had just woken up in the hospital, he had felt the sparks burst right behind his eyes and his heart set aflutter. That feeling was like finally having a taste of water after being stranded in the desert for hours. Days even. It was like salvation handed to him on a silver platter, for him to taste, to savour and to hold. And Yami was sure Yugi had felt the same sparks set on fire within his body, the heat rising to his throat.
But as time went by, and the more kisses they exchanged, the feeling began... to dim. It was still there, but everything was just muted. Then, last night, the feeling/that/ feeling, was completely gone. In its place was something much more primal, more savage. And if Yami wanted to be completely honest with himself, it was animalistic even. His body had enjoyed it, and he still felt himself blush when he remembered some of the things they had done. However, once the excitement died off and the passion faded away, Yami could see just how everything was wrong. There was only the physical enjoyment, and the emotional contentment that should have been there wasn't. In fact, there was a distinct gloominess settling in his heart, like the harbinger of a thunderstorm.
Something just wasn't right.
It was Yugi! He had always wanted to make love to Yugi, hadn't he?
So why weren't the feelings right?
Yugi had felt it too, he knew. Yugi could tell the feelings weren't there too. His little one had been too worn out to vocalize or realize it last night, but once he had woken up this morning, everything just seemed to fall into place. It was like their lovemaking had enabled them both to find previously missing pieces of a gigantic puzzle that was so big that it had clouded their vision, obscured their senses. But now, everything was so clear.
When the sounds of footsteps puttering upstairs died down, and the distant click of a closing door was heard, Yami sighed. He put away the newspapers.
Yugi was out again. At Jou's place, probably. These days, it seemed that neither of them could stand to be in the house for too long with the other around. Yami smiled self-deprecatingly, but he reached for the phone anyway. It was too late for Yugi to walk home alone, and Kaiba would certainly not be happy if Jou had to walk his friend home and deprive them of their night.
The door bell rang at that moment. Before Yami could even register the thought that Yugi might already be at the door, the bell rang again. And again. And again. Then, there was the distinct sound of someone pounding on the door and someone shouting his name. It reminded Yami of a caged animal slamming its body into its cage, demanding to be released.
When he finally managed to open the door, he was surprised to see Anzu looking back at him with half-lidded, glazed eyes, standing unsteadily and leaning against the wall. Yami was quite sure that if the wall hadn't been there to support her, the girl would have fallen flat on her face long ago.
Anzu blinked for a long while before she lifted a tired finger to point at him, cocking her head and squinting hard like she couldn't see clearly. "Yugi...?" she hiccupped before continuing in a slur, "Ish that yoooou...?"
Yami frowned, the heady smell of alcohol assaulting his nose. She was drunk? And judging that he had not heard any vehicles earlier, she must have walked here. How she had made it to his door, still in one piece and looking none for the worse (except being completely smashed, that is), was a miracle. She was lucky he didn't live in a shadier part of town; if he had, she would have been mugged, stripped and raped before her hangover could even set in. Lucky girl. He felt his eyebrow twitch.
"No, Yugi's out."
She squinted again.
It was strange how his name sounded so infuriating off her tongue. He sighed.
"Give me a second to grab my keys and coat, Anzu. I'll send you home." He did not even bother asking her in and have a seat or drink some water to alleviate the hangover that would eventually come. Instead, Yami left her standing unsteadily at the opened door and quickly gathered his stuff. Once he had scribbled a quick note to Yugi, he locked the doors and pulled the girl along. He was intent on getting home soon, preferably before Yugi. For what, he had no idea. It wasn't as though he and Yugi really did anything fun together anymore.
Oddly enough, there were no cabs around. The thought of walking Anzu home in her state annoyed Yami, but there seemed to be no way around it. Yugi wouldn't like it very much if he just left her in the streets. And there was no way he was letting her stay in their house; it wasn't as if he didn't have enough problems with Yugi. He could really do without another.
It was a fairly quiet journey, apart from the occasional hiccup and stumbling of footsteps. Which reminded Yami: why was the girl so drunk? She couldn't have been drinking in celebration; she seemed too miserable for it. But from what he had gathered from their past conversations and what little he had heard from their friends, Anzu had everything going for her. Her dance career was quickly shooting her to national stardom, she had a fiancée who loved her, and they would be walking down the aisle sometime next year. She didn't seem to have any things to be depressed over.
Then again, Yami couldn't be too sure. He didn't really know her very well, and he tended to keep away from her like she was some sort of plague. Yami blinked. Why did he dislike her? Anzu was a nice person, so why did he dislike her enough to wish for her early demise sometimes? Searching through his head, he frowned when he could come up with no plausible reasons. He had a feeling his dislike was related to her relationship with Yugi, but it was so... illogical. The nurse back in the hospital, Vicky, had told him quite blatantly that heterosexuality was illegal. So it was impossible for anything to blossom between Yugi and Anzu. Then why did he dislike her? Was he forgetting something?
"Yugiiii..." Anzu's voice shook him out of his reverie.
She did not seem to have heard him.
"Yuuugii..." she chuckled uncontrollably, stopping in her staggers to look at Yami. "You know shomet'ing?" She laughed again, like a little girl who had the world's biggest secret and was dying to tell. "Mai-chan's angry wit' meee... She t'inks I'm not..." –she hiccupped- "She t'inks I dun wanna get married."
Ah, that probably explained why Anzu was smashed. She was about to fall over when she tripped over her own foot, but thankfully, Yami pulled her back in time. However, Yami had overestimated her lethargy, and so put too much strength into his arms. Anzu yelped, and stumbled right into Yami's chest. She giggled again.
"Hey! Let go, Anzu!"
"Dun wanna... I dun ever wanna let you go, Yugi," she slurred, head rested in the crook of his neck and arms wrapped around his torso like he was some plushie. And she had quite a grip, even in her state of drunkenness.
Yami sighed, and continued to drag her along to her place. It was a tedious job, what with her unwilling to let go or walk properly, and she wasn't all that light, even for a dancer. The job was made worse for she kept giggling like a half-insane woman, occasionally blowing raspberries to her non-existent audiences applauding her latest dance moves. It was after a long while when she continued talking again.
"But choo know what? Mai-chan's right. I dun wanna marry her."
"But why? You don't love her?"
"I dooooo!" Anzu whined, almost like a child who had been accused of stealing all the cookies. "I doooo love Mai-chan! But Mai-chan's me friend, not me lover..." Finally, she removed her arms from Yami and took a few staggers backwards. For the first time in the whole night, she actually looked serious, like she wasn't drunk at all. But the faint redness in her cheeks gave her away. "You know Wilhelm Fliess (1)? T'at guy is a... ge... ge... genius! Innate bisexuality!"
Yami frowned. Was Anzu...?
"People are born bisexuals! But! But!" –she wriggled her finger- "But society... society... pressurizes them! Yeah, dat's isht! Society erm, pressurizes them to like only one sex! And our society makes us all homosexuals!" She laughed loudly, as though she was truly amused. Her chest heaved from her laughter, almost in pain. When she spoke again, her voice was only a nearly inaudible whisper, and tears were cascading down her cheeks. "So I can never love you, Yugi. I can never love you..."
The world had never been encased in such deafening silence. It was a stilled snow-globe.
"I... I remember. I remember another world, where heterosexuality is accepted and celebrated. Where you and Yugi are in love..." A fine crack, the width of a spider's spun silk, appeared on the snow-globe. Everything was still at a standstill within.
Anzu smiled through her tears.
"Really? But you must have been dreaming. There can't be such a utopia. But... but if there's really such a world, I want to be there. I need to be there."
The fine crack traveled quickly, streaking across the entire snow-globe in a woven web, and when Yami returned her tearful smile, the glass shattered completely. The water gushed out like a broken dam.
And then there was silence.
He finally remembered. He wasn't from this world. He came from the world he had described to Anzu. A world where his love for Yugi wasn't returned, nor was it acceptable in society's cold eyes. How could he have forgotten?
Yami felt himself shiver.
So, there were two worlds. Yami was currently in a world that wasn't his own, and his own was out of his reach.
And there were two Yugi. One did not love him as a lover but was crying for his return, and another who loved him but did not love him at the same time.
Thus, it probably made sense to assume that there was two of him too, one for each world. In that case, where was the Yami of this new world? Could he have been thrown into the other world, his world? So they had taken each other's places in each other's worlds?
No, it wasn't possible. If the other Yami had indeed traveled to his world, there would be no reason for Yugi to be crying for him to return.
Then, was the other Yami missing? Or... did he even exist in the first place?
Yami had no idea. Everything was so confusing.
And it seemed that the only thing that remained constant was Anzu's love for Yugi.
He felt his heart fall.
It was near midnight by the time he got home. And it puzzled him to find one of Kaiba's cars at their front door. Yami softly unlocked the door and snuck inside, trailing along the corridor's wall. He stopped at the living room, where the lights were switched on and a few people were talking softly.
"Yug, don't worry too much about it. Things will resolve itself. Right, Seto?" This one had to be Jounouchi, and it seemed that Kaiba was around too. That explained the car.
"It won't, Jou. It won't." Yugi's voice was resolute, yet resigned.
"I've tried telling myself that, but... things haven't changed, and they won't be changing. Why is this happening? Why are things falling apart? We were so happy together..."
"Yami," –Yami straightened at the mention of his name- "started to change after waking up in the hospital. If we want to find out the reason for the change, we'll need to know what happened to him to land him in the hospital in the first place." This was undoubtedly Kaiba's voice. And few others could manage this level of reasoning at such a time and situation, anyway.
"I want my Yami back... I just want him to come back... I want him to remember me... remember how we fell in love, why we fell in love... This Yami now... he doesn't love me. He believes he does, but he doesn't. And when we're making love, he doesn't see me...!"
Yami thought his heart was going to die.
"I love him, but I want him to love me too. I want my Yami… I just want him back…"
Yami turned away, leaving no evidence that he had ever returned.
'Yami... don't you want me anymore? Aren't I your aibou? Please come back... I'm sorry...'
"I love him, but I want him to love me too. I want my Yami... I just want him back..."
He loved both of them, but he had hurt both of them too.
Yami gazed at his puzzle, the eye of Horus staring back at him relentlessly as he held it up in his hands. The gods had warned him, didn't they? Once he gave up the chance to move on into the afterlife, he would be doomed to live as a mortal, bound by the chains of mortality, pain and illness. There would be no more shadow magic, no more miracles. The once great pharaoh would be on his own. No gods would tend to a mortal who should have died 5000 years ago. He was alone.
But he needed a miracle to right his world again.
He had no idea how long he had been walking, but when he looked up, there was a lone sakura tree standing amidst the field. Its leaves shook with the caress of the wind, and a few petals drifted away until they were out of sight. Yami's feet brought him to before the tree as though in a trance, and the tree was calling. Hesitantly, he raised a hand to the trunk.
Yami & Yugi forever.
He traced the outline of the love umbrella he had carved what seemed a lifetime ago. Forever. Even forever had an end.
"Yami! Where are you? Please answer me!"
He grabbed the puzzle, hearing his Yugi's desolate cries. "Hikari..." he whispered wistfully. "Why are you looking for me?"
"I need you, Yami! I can't live on without you!"
"Yes, you can. You have your friends, and you have Anzu."
"Yami, you're more important than all of them! I need you! Please answer me!"
"How can I be, when you don't even see me when Anzu is around? You carved the love umbrella for her, not me..." Yami trailed off, then, it was as though something finally struck him, and he gasped. He released the puzzle in his surprise and the one-way mind link was cut off immediately. Raising his hands to the sakura tree again, he was sure the love umbrella he had carved for Yugi was present. Every stroke of it had indeed been created under his own hands, including the much deeper and heavier strokes of Yugi's name.
But how was it possible? He had carved it in his world, not this world! Could it be...? It had to be. This sakura tree was the reason he had been thrown into this strange new world. And it would have to be the way to get answers.
Yami clawed at the tree, punched it, shook it, kicked it, and even knocked it with his puzzle, but the tree did not budge or give a response. In frustration and exhaustion, he slumped against the tree, sliding onto the ground. He panted, relishing the cool night wind when it came his way. Above him, the leaves rustled.
"You've made your decision?"
He took a sharp intake of breath, and looked up. There, standing against the moonlight and looking at him calmly with dull, black eyes, was a young girl, about twelve or thirteen of age. When the wind blew again, her long black hair, a stark contrast to her white kimono with pink edges, whispered with the wind.
"You've made your decision?" she asked again, her voice crisp and eerily calm.
Yami blinked, pushing against the tree and stood up.
"What... what decision?"
"Your decision to stay or return. Have you decided?"
"You... you are... Who are you?"
The girl cocked her head, narrowing her gaze. Slowly, as though convinced that Yami was truly ignorant, she said, "I thought it was fairly obvious." Then, she lifted her right hand and gingerly pulled away her long sleeve, exposing inch upon inch of pale complexion. Her arm would have been smooth, but it was marred by a strange looking scar. It was at that moment that the moon seemed to brighten, and suddenly, the scar was much more visible.
Yami & Yugi forever.
Yami gasped. "You... You are... the sakura tree?"
"The spirit, to be more precise," she replied, pulling her sleeve over her hand as she did. "All beings in the world are born with a soul. Even inanimate objects. And through the cultivation of our souls over many, many years, we can hope to attain a physical, human form. I believe you humans call us yokai (2)."
"But why? Why did you throw me into this world? Because I scarred you?"
"Didn't you make a wish on me? When you carved this thing on my arm?"
A long forgotten memory surfaced, and Yami's eyes widened.
With a few swift strokes, he finished up a seamless love umbrella, with his name on one side. Ruby eyes burning with a little more determination, he started to carve another name onto it, the name of the one he would always love. Yugi.
"Yugi..." he whispered forlornly, tracing a finger over the name. Closing his eyes, he made his wish again.
"If you are as good as Yugi says, then give me his love. Let him love me like he loves no other. And let me be his only one. Forever."
"I felt your sense of abandonment and hurt. Yet, you still loved him. It made me wonder... What would happen if he loved you back? Would it really become your perfect world? Would someone else get hurt?" she said, almost detachedly, but there was an underlying tone that spoke to Yami. She understood.
It made Yami's ire at being played for a fool seep away. "So you put me into this parallel universe."
Her bored expression did not change, and she started to cross her arms. "Parallel universe? I do not have that sort of power. If you're talking to a yokai millenniums old, perhaps. I'm only centuries old, much too young to have that sort of power."
"So what did you do?"
"I merely created a world from your memories and dreams, and pulled your spirit inside. Since you hated the society that frowned upon homosexual relationships and sympathized with your friends whose love was ridiculed in the real world, I created a world where it was the other way round, and where Yugi has loved you for years. It is your ideal world, was it not? The world you've dreamed of for a very long time. However, it has come to my attention that you are still not happy. Why?"
"Because..." Yami lowered his head, averting her straight gaze. Why? Why wasn't he happy here? He had Yugi's unconditional love, had friends who would help him through anything, and a life where his sexual orientation was accepted. It was everything he had ever wanted. So why he couldn't be happy?
"Because... I need Yugi."
"You have him, and he loves you more than his life."
"He... loves his Yami, not me." The words were coming now, as though they had always been with him but it was only now that he dared to take them out from the dusty corner of his heart. "And I... And I need to go back to my Yugi. He may be the Yugi who loves me, but my Yugi is the one whom I swore to protect, all those years ago when he solved the millennium puzzle." Yami finally found the strength to look up and meet the spirit's gaze. He finally understood himself.
The spirit laughed quietly. "So you've made your decision? You can stay here as long as you like, and this world will always accept your love for Yugi. However, know that your physical body is currently in a coma in the real world. You're only here in spirit. But I suppose you wish to return?"
He nodded resolutely.
She nodded in return, accepting his answer. "Well then, it's off you go." With a wave of her sleeve, the sakura tree behind Yami started to glow, and its flowers detached themselves in a swirl around him. His vision darkened.
Before he completely blacked out, he heard the spirit's smiling voice whisper in his ear.
"Despite what you've been told, know that there will always be miracles and magic in the world. The only problem is if you can see them as such."
He wanted to smile at her, but he felt his strength seep away and his eyes closed.
When Yami opened his eyes the next time, the boring, white ceiling and the familiar smell of antiseptics were the first things to greet him. He sighed. The spirit certainly wasn't kidding him when she said his body had been in a coma. He was getting sick of hospitals, but it seemed that sitting up was not an option. Not when his muscles were screaming at him. Note to self: don't get up suddenly after being in bed for months. Vaguely, he wondered if time passed in the same speed in the two worlds.
He stretched his neck around, hoping to get a glance at a clock if there was one in the room. That was when he noticed a figure sleeping in a visitor's chair beside his bed.
"Yugi?" he tried calling, but he only succeeded with a throaty rasp before he coughed. Damn dry throat...
Yugi woke up, blinking around blearily. He gasped when he noticed Yami's opened eyes.
"Yami! You've woken up! Oh gods... You've finally woken up! I almost thought you were never going to wake up. Never going to wake up..." –he choked- "...and leave me in this world alone. You have no idea how scared I was when Jou told me he'd found you unconscious on the streets, and when I came here, the doctors couldn't tell me what exactly was wrong with you..."
It all sounded so familiar. Yami was about to point that out when he coughed again, and a flustered Yugi quickly poured a cup of water and held it to his lips. He drank as much as he could in his lying position. When he had enough, he groaned and tried to push the cup away. Yugi quickly got the idea.
As he put the cup away, he started to blabber, "Oh gods, Yami! I'm so sorry for neglecting you the past few weeks! I never meant to leave you alone. But I just... I've no idea why I did that. I know it's an excuse, but I'm really sorry, Yami. I..."
"I know you don't like Anzu, so you probably got a little mad at me for going out with her, but I swear I didn't do it on purpose!"
"I didn't mean to go out with her so much and neglect you."
Yugi blinked. "Yes, Yami?"
"Where am I?"
"The hospital. You've been in a coma for the past week."
Yami tried to shake his head, but found it was quite a feat for someone lying down in bed. "No, what I mean is..." Was he really back in his world? What if the spirit had decided to use him for another experiment again? He had to know where, which world he was in. "Yugi, if I were to kiss you right here, right now, is that socially acceptable?"
Yugi stared at him for a long moment. He was strangely despondent when he finally answered, "No."
Yami sighed."I had this dream, Yugi. In the dream, homosexual couples weren't just accepted; they were celebrated, they were the norm. And in that dream... we were together. You and I. Together."
They were silent again for a very long moment. Then suddenly, Yugi took Yami's hand and gave him a gentle squeeze. His eyes were glazed, like he was about to cry again. When the tears did fall, Yugi was smiling.
"Dreams do come true sometimes."
He guided Yami's hand to his face, allowing the other to cup his cheek, and sighed contentedly.
Yami stared at him, and he returned the smile.
The world halted, and for that moment, it was only them.
(1) Innate bisexuality: Basically, it's a term in Freudian psychology that says that all humans are born bisexual but through psychological development becomes monosexual while the bisexuality remains in a latent state. This idea, however, was incorporated from his associate, Wilhelm Fliess' ideas. Here, Anzu is drunk, so she doesn't seem to be getting the whole idea. And of course, I adapted her speech according to the world she lived in.
(2) Yokai: In Japanese mythology, it is said that all beings have a soul in them, even inanimate ones. And on their 100th birthday, they come to life and are able to manifest themselves.
A/N: In case any of you are wondering, this is the exact ending I had in mind when I first started this fic. In the 2nd chapter when I posed the question about the origins of Nancy and Vicky the nurses, one of the prizes I had was giving me a name for an OC, and now you have her: the sakura spirit. Since the person who won that small competition did not choose that option, the spirit has no name :P
Anyway... I'm thinking about an epilogue. Do you guys think an epilogue is needed? Review to let me know!
Thanx to all who have supported this fic, and even more thanx to those who have reviewed! If you've read my last drabble, you might know that I'm currently a little depressed over the lack of readership, so please sail on by to my V-day fic if you've got the time! Also, check my profile page to see my writing schedule if you wanna know.