Chapter 8 - Surprises

There was silence. Complete could-be-sliced-with-a-machete silence.

And Yami froze.

Slowly, he released Atem and pressed a hand to his head, covering his eyes in sudden shame.

"Oh great." He sighed, closing his eyes.

The silence continued. For approximately…three seconds.

"Did you just say…?" Yugi said softly, his big amethyst eyes wide with shock.

Yami took his hand away from his eyes and glared at his twin, once again unquenchable anger filling him to the core.

"Damn you, look what you made me…"

Yami let his voice trail off, his crimson eyes widening as he looked into the other's. his anger sudden melted away to surprise and perhaps even a little worry. He frowned.

Atem was still standing opposite him by the wall, in the exact same place Yami had shoved him - but something was very different. Despite Yami having released him, Atem hadn't scooted away, afraid Yami would just get even more infuriated then before…no, Atem was – smiling.

Not just smiling - grinning - out of sheer happiness.

Stunned, Yami took an involuntary step backward, suddenly and inexplicably freaked out by that bright, blissful smile aimed at him so soon after Yami had completely lost his temper with his twin.

As Yami stared, becoming more and more shocked as Atem began to giggle - and giggle and giggle.

"I can't believe it!" Atem cried, clasping his hands to his heart in pure happiness. "I did it! I did it! I can't believe it! I MADE YOU SAY IT!"

Yami stood there paralysed as Atem suddenly pounced on Yugi again, who was still too stunned to move, let alone object to Atem cuddling him half to death.

"Did you hear? He said it! I made him say it! I'm free!" Atem cried happily.

Yugi stared at the Yami-twin. "What?" He grasped Atem's hand before he could jump away again. "Wait a minute! Atem, what's going on!"

Atem stopped abruptly and looked at Yugi. A sweet smiled crossed his lips and he turned to Yami.

Yami gazed back, shaking his head in sheer misunderstanding. "Who are you?"

Atem locked eyes with him, smiling softly. "You seem like a smart guy, Yami." He said cutely. "Why don't you guess?"

For a long moment Yami didn't answer, but looked at his twin, his mind was blank; he honestly had no idea who this guy was…hang on…

Yami's eyes flitted to Yue.

"What is a Mirrai?" Yami asked softly.

Yue looked back at him. "A Mirrai is a 'Mirrored Eye'"

Suddenly this whole situation was making a lot more sense.

A 'Mirrored Eye'…a reflection of the image who summoned it…a reflection of the inner eye - the thoughts, feelings, desires of the inner self…and right then - Yami was staring at the exact reflected image of himself.

Yami looked at Atem in sudden, glaring realisation. "I created you…didn't I?"

Atem's smile brightened, as did his voice. "That's right Yami." He said, blissfully. His scarlet eyes glistened. "I'm you."

Gasps echoed around the room at this new revelation - but nobody was as shocked as Yugi.

"Wait a minute…" Yugi said, slowly backing away from both the twins, staring at them wide-eyed. "You're - you're both Yami? H-how is that even possible?"

Atem laughed, shrugging dismissively. "I'm a Mirrai remember? I'm just magic." His gaze locked onto Yami's again. "And you summoned me Yami."

Yami shook his head. "No, I didn't, I-I couldn't have - I would've known -"

Atem bit his lip, suddenly losing his happy smile. He closed his eyes, looking away.

"No you wouldn't have, Yami," Atem said, his voice softer, more serious then before. "Because you didn't want to summon me - you didn't want me. You didn't want to see me. I forced this to happen."

Yami held back a gasp as Atem finally looked up. His Mirrai's crimson eyes were filled with tears of sadness.

"You never let me be free." Atem said softly.

In his chest, Yami's heart suddenly seared with unfathomable pain as he gazed upon his twin.

"Who are you?" Yami asked again, much more kindly then before. "…really?"

Atem looked at him sadly. "I'm everything that you desire…everything you always lock away…everything you've ever wanted to be." More tears streamed down his cheeks. "I'm your heart."

Yugi clutched the end of the counter just to keep himself standing. He was frozen in pure shock, but still a thousand thoughts screamed relentlessly through his mind as he tried to follow what was going on around him.

First Atem claims he loves him, then Atem kisses him in public - then Yami screams out his love for Yugi in blind anger and to top it all off, Atem tells everyone he's just a magical mirrored image of Yami.

What the hell was going on!

Yugi shook his head confusion filling him completely. "I-I don't understand…" He looked up at the twins, suddenly feeling well out of his depth. "Who's the real Yami?"

"I am." Yami and Atem said simultaneously.

As soon as they did so, they turned to each other a hit each other with their best glares.

"I'm the real Yami," Atem told Yugi, defying Yami to contradict him. "I'm everything that Yami wants to be - but he locks me up inside himself - he never lets me play!"

"What're you talking about!" Yami shouted, furious at being discarded by a mere mirror image.

"Why do you think you summoned me Yami?" Atem said just as angry. "You always cast me aside! You never let me out! You never let me express myself! I'M YOUR HEART AND YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME!"

Realisation hit Yugi like a tonne of bricks. It was so glaringly obvious. How could he be so blind as to miss something that huge in this entire situation?

He gasped sharply, making everyone look at him in shock.

"Oh my god…" Yugi whispered. His gaze flitted to Atem, his eyes wide. "What you've been saying…every time…you were trying to tell me…"

A blissful smile crossed Atem's lips. He nodded.

Yugi looked up at Yami, who was currently looking very, very haunted.

"Every time Atem told me he loved me…it was you," Yugi said, his eyes shining with happiness. "Everything Atem said to me was what you wanted to tell me all along, isn't it Yami?"

There was no point in denying it now, Yami was caught, and there was nothing he could do to change that. In complete and utter shame, he looked away, feeling the tears well up in his eyes.

"Yes," Yami said quietly. "He's right…about everything."

His heart tore in his chest as he finally looked up at Yugi.

"I'm in love with you, Yugi." He said softly. "I love you so much it kills me to see you everyday and never be able to tell you how much you mean to me because…I couldn't bear it if you rejected me. i just...couldn't go on with this friendship after that,I thought it'd be better ifI never said anything at all."

Yugi's heart thudded as he saw Yami slowly backing away to the back door, ready to runaway and out of his life forever all for one tiny confession.

Determination set in.

"Oh no you don't." Yugi said darting forward.

Yami stepped backward in shock as well as the force as Yugi suddenly ran into his arms, wrapping his arms around Yami's waist tightly.

"You're not going anywhere." Yugi said looking up at him with sparkling amethyst eyes. "Because I love you too."

Yami stared at him, stunned. "Y-you do?"

Yugi nodded smiling.

But his Dark still stared incredulously. "Then why were you kissing Atem?"

Yugi bit his lip cutely. "Well…you never seemed to notice me, and well Atem made me feel so nice…" He blushed. "I figured if I couldn't have you, I could at least have someone who looked like you."

Yami blinked. "But you never said anything. You never told me, gave me a sign or anything!"

Yugi pulled back. "Well you didn't either! I liked you for ages and you never noticed at all!"

"You could've made it a bit more obvious, I -" Yami cut himself off - mostly because Yugi was laughing.

"Silly pharaoh," Yugi said. "I've loved you forever; I didn't know you felt the same way."

Yami frowned slightly. "But I wouldn't have said anything, in case you hated me…" His gaze fell on Atem. "But you told him for me."

Atem smiled. "Of course I did." He gave Yami a mock glare. "You're too ruled by your mind to give me a second glance. I knew Yugi loved me. He makes it so obvious! But that damn mind of yours kept shutting me away - or I'd have screamed out our love ages ago."

Yami suddenly felt guilty as Atem cast saddened eyes onto his own, finally seeing he own heart standing there before him instead of a twin or a rival for Yugi's heart to hate to the core.

He finally saw himself standing there - no shutters to hide him, no defences to keep himself safe…no nothing. It was his heart, everything Yami wanted to do, to say, was standing there before him, standing up to be finally heard and counted.

"You've hurt me so much Yami." Atem told him. "All I ever wanted was to be part of your life - to help you to be happy, but you always locked me up." He signed resignedly. "I only ever wanted to beat for you, but how could I do that if you won't listen to me? I only ever wanted you to let me play. Even if it was just once."

"So you felt that strongly, that I accidentally summoned you?" Yami asked.

Atem nodded. "The only reason you created me was to tell Yugi what you couldn't say - you're ruled too much by your mind." A sudden bright smile crossed his face. "But I made you say it! So there! Haha! Take that Yami! You think too much!"

Yami sighed as Yugi giggled.

"So now you're task is complete, how do I get rid of you?" Yami asked.

Yugi looked up at him, disappointed. "Oh, does he have to go? I like him being around."

Atem bounced over to Yugi and pulled him out of Yami's embrace and into his own. "Sorry cutie, but I can't stay, but if you ever want me - just turn Yami on and you'll see me. Or better yet, wear that outfit; it really does it for Yami."

Yami's eyes widened, his jaw dropping at the sheer audacity of his Mirrai. "How dare you -,"

His voice cut off as he saw the adorable blush colouring Yugi's cheeks making him look so damn cute Yami just wanted to -

"Cuddle him to death?" Atem finished.

Yami stared at him in disbelief.

Atem giggled. "Now that you've freed me, you can't stop me Yami." His scarlet eyes shone happily. "And you have to listen to me first from now on!"

Yugi giggled along with him, enjoying Atem's cuddle as he looked up at Yami. "You know, having you finally ruled by your heart is gonna be a lot more fun."

Yami felt a smile spread across his lips.

A sigh escaped him. "Okay, okay, I give in to you Atem. You win, I give up."

"YAY!" Atem cried happily.

Yami couldn't help but laugh as Atem suddenly pounced on him, cuddling him tightly.

"I knew you cared about me! Admit it! You love me, I'm great!" Atem said blissfully.

"Oh god," Yami said, cringing inwardly. He glanced at Yugi. "Am I seriously like that?"

Yugi shrugged, smiling. "I guess so. Maybe a little more restrained."

"Are you still mad at me?" Atem asked suddenly.

Yami looked at him. "If I was mad at you - wouldn't that make me mad at myself?"

Atem's eyes unfocused, trying to work this out. "Yes?"

Yami smiled.

Atem gigged back. "I think you should be a little mad at me anyway."

Yami raised an eyebrow. "Why's that?"

Atem smiled cutely. "Well I did steal Yugi's first kiss!"

Yet again Yami's jaw dropped. And Yugi turned bright pink.

"Well he caught me off-guard!" Yugi said defensively, drawing back slightly under Yami's stunned stare. "I thought he was asleep!"

Something clicked in Yami's mind. "Wait, you mean he kissed you before just now?"

Yugi clapped his hands over his mouth, his blush deepening.

And Atem was still giggling away. "Told you so."

Yami turned around, quickly catching his twin's wrists. "Okay," He said calming Atem down. "Now, seriously, how do I get you to go back?"

"Oh that's easy," Atem said dismissively. He smiled angelically. "All you have to do is accept me, then I'll return to you."

"That's all?"

Atem nodded. "Just say the words."

Yami's gaze fell past his twin, to his Hikari. Yugi looked so sad to see Atem go.

Sensing his gaze, Yugi looked up at him and smiled, walking over to enter his embrace. "I'm okay; I guess Atem's not going far anyway."

Yami smiled, reassured, gently and lovingly holding Yugi close to him.

Taking a deep breath he looked at his Mirrai before him.

"Are you okay with this?" He asked.

Atem gazed back. "As long as you keep your promise and accept me as part of you, I'm happy."

"And here's me thinking you were annoyingly happy all the time."

Atem giggled. "Only when I'm around Yugi. You know that thud in your chest whenever you see Yugi?"

"Yes…" Yami answered, wondering where this was going.

Atem grinned. "That's me, trying - yet again - to get your attention." He looked thoughtful for a moment. "Come to think of it, I'm also all those fantasies that you're constantly -"

"Okay," Yami said quickly cutting him off, instantly feeling the heat rising in his cheeks, as well as Yugi jerk slightly beside him. "I think I get it Atem."

Atem smiled. "Then say the words."

Yami took a deep breath, finally feeling affection for his Mirrai as he looked at him for the very last time. Lovingly, Yami held Yugi close, his gaze still locked on his twin.

"I accept you," Yami said sincerely. A smile crossed his lips. "My heart."

Golden magics filled the air, and with one last smile, Atem vanished into a burst of magic, condensing into one tiny orb - that gently floated back to Yami - and entered his chest, going back to where he rightfully belonged.

After a moment, the magics dissipated, and Yami finally felt complete and surprisingly - happy.

Yami looked down at Yugi beside him, and he finally realised Atem had been right all along. Yami thought way too much. No wonder he never noticed Yugi's feelings changing towards him.

"Everything's okay now, right?" Yugi asked, his amethyst eyes shimmering beautifully.

Yami smiled. "Yes, my love. Everything is just fine."

With that, Yami slipped a hand under Yugi's chin, tilting up his face - and leaned down.

The kiss was soft and sweet, but deep and full of all the love they had to share.

When they finally broke apart, feeling happier then ever, Yugi and Yami glanced up to their friends, finally realising they were all still in the room, and had been silently watching the scene unfold.

"Anyway," Grandpa said. "Now that's over, how about we actually have some breakfast?"

"How about Yami's favourite?" Yue suggested, smiling.

Krysta smiled and looked at Yami. "Pancakes?"

Yami blushed - and Yugi giggled.

"Silly pharaoh."

THE END

YAY! Another fic finished! I hope you guys liked this one. It was just a little thing I was suddenly inspired to write but hey, it turned okay alright didn't it? Please review and thanks for reading! If you liked this – check out my other fis! Luv you!