I Walk Alone
A Yu-Gi-Oh 30kisses fic
By: Azurite (azurite AT fanfiction DOT net)
For the LiveJournal community 30kisses #20 theme (the road home).
Completed: 6/8/05
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh or the characters implied therein...

What is 30kisses? It's a community on LiveJournal-- a fanfiction challenge community. People choose a pairing from a fandom (in my case, I chose Seto x Anzu from Yu-Gi-Oh) and then write 30 fics or a combination of fics and art to fit 30 different themes. The requirement is that each piece of work also has to have a "kiss" in it! But whether a kiss is literal/physical or metaphorical, it's up to the writer...

Feel free to join us if you have a LiveJournal account-- tons of pairings are free, and we have alternative lists for you to try in case the original 30 kisses don't interest you!

By the way, I will NOT be posting the other oneshots as chapters to this; they are oneshots, and I intend to post them standalone, as such. It might take a bit longer for me to post them on my site and major archives because of this (as they were originally written for LiveJournal only), but they WILL make their way there.

Read and review! Let me know what you think about this fic... (Partial inspiration comes from "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," by Green Day. No lyrics are contained herein, but it might be an interesting song to listen to while you read.)

Everyone's moved on. It's ironic, really, that I'm the last one here in Domino, because you'd think I'd be the first one to leave.

Wouldn't you?

You always thought that the moment we graduated from that idiotic institution known as Domino High, I'd be gone. Off to America, or China, or somewhere... But you were wrong.

Only about that one thing, though. Much as I hate to admit it, you were right about everything else.

You were right that "all of it" was really a fa├žade, though I don't think anybody has quite grasped what "all of it" is... or was. My attitude, perhaps, or something much deeper. Like you said, all that time ago... I don't know the value of life. I didn't then, and I don't now.

Not without you.

Isn't that ridiculous?

Once upon a time, I believed the only things I needed in life were food, shelter... and Mokuba. But I had all that and more, and yet it was never enough. In retrospect, that feeling of incompleteness led me to do some pretty crazy things.

You'd say it was because I was crazy, literally certifiable. I assure you, I wasn't. I wouldn't have wanted my brother to see me in such a state, and if I was-- it's funny, I realize, you're not even here and saying anything, and yet I feel as though I'm arguing with you. You always did that to me-- it was hard resisting you, because you always presented the opportunities for a good argument.

You were the only one I could walk away from those arguments with and feel... alive. Strange, isn't it?

But there's none of that anymore. I'm the last one here...

I walk alone, now.

I've lost track of where everyone's gone at this point, which just goes to show I'm losing whatever touch I might have had when I was younger. Do you suppose the situations we were in --whatever you want to call them-- had something to do with it? They might have spurred me into acting the way I did, being who I was...

I'm different now, it's true. Even Mokuba's noticed, though he never seems to say how I've changed one way or another. He just examines me thoughtfully and walks away. He's in high school now-- a private boarding school on the other side of town. He easily could have attended the Duelist Academy I started up-- you heard about that, right?

But he didn't want to go there-- "tired of Duel Monsters," he said. I think I was so shocked I couldn't come up with an appropriate response. I was stuck in that web of silence for days on end, until the point when Mokuba's bags were finally all packed and we were standing outside that school-- time to say goodbye. But not because he'd been kidnapped or run away-- because he'd chosen to go.

We'd finally reached that point that I denied would ever come-- the point when we as brothers would separate.

He only comes home on the weekends now, and that's when he's not busy with one thing or another. I'm sure you already knew this --you have that instinct that only women seem to have-- but he's quite the ladies man. Dates every Saturday night... and here I am, alone. What a pathetic role model I've turned out to be, hm?

But then, I do have one memory that I cherish, all those nights when I walk alone... the road home. Instead of taking the limousine or showing off and riding one of my motorcycles... I walk. It's not as if anyone bothers me, anyway-- I'm usually walking around when the rest of Domino is sound asleep, or at the least, acting like it. The city is dead and cold around me.

And I remember how there was one night when the streets were lit up, and people were milling about... and you were by my side. It was the night before you were going to leave, and you just showed up at my doorstep.

How you managed to get me out of the house... I'm still not sure I remember right.

You'd spent the whole day with the others, exchanging goodbyes, scrubbing away your tears... and then you came to me, when the dark and the cold settled on the town, and everyone else was rushing home to find warmth and happiness in the company of their loved ones. You wanted to go out, and you wanted me to come, because this was your last night in Domino, and... I don't think I was entirely focused on what you were saying, I admit, but I do remember that whatever you said after that made me smile.

And so we went. Even though you knew full well that I had the resources of the entire city at my beck and call, you wanted to walk . So we walked-- all the way to the train station. You fumbled with spare change for me --armed only with my checkbook and credit cards-- to get on the train, and we took a crowded, bumpy ride all the way to Harajuku.

We walked through narrow streets and jam-packed alleyways-- one of the few parts of Tokyo that awoke as the rest of the country went to sleep. We looked at vintage jewelry and clothing with improper English on it. Somewhere near the end of the longest road, the main thoroughfare of Harajuku, you stopped at a place called "Angel Heart" and got yourself an oversized cheesecake crepe-- citing the "fact" that this would be the last time you could allow yourself to engorge on such fattening foods.

After all, you were going to New York to dance.

I knew it was always your dream to do that, to escape the confines of Japan and to become a dancer... but it was finally showing on your face, how much of a battle you were fighting inside. There were things holding you back, but it was only now, a few hours before your departure, that you understood them.

There wasn't much I could say-- you were always the person cheering everyone on, giving them hope in the most desperate of situations. Even me, your best friends' rival, their longtime enemy. Somehow...

I just settled for eating my own crepe, trying to work my way through a mess of strawberries and whip cream without a fork. What kind of a restaurant didn't offer forks?

I was minutely aware of something I'd done wrong, because in one moment, all was well-- and in the next, you were turning to look at me with a strange expression on your face. Something like a cross between a laughing smile and the look people have right before they're about to burst into tears. That latter expression doesn't have a name, even though I've seen it more than a million times-- on your face, Yuugi's, but most often, on Mokuba's. All these years, all these people, and still no way to define that look.

It was just one moment, one splotch of whip cream out of place... and then you dropped the tiny remainder of your own crepe in a nearby trashcan before closing the distance between us and...

You kissed me.

And now I walk alone, because everyone else is gone --everyone that ever mattered to me. But especially you. You were that missing piece, you know? That thing that I could never find no matter how many times I dueled and won, no matter how many people I met or places I traveled. That indescribable "thing" that I kept searching for...

I finally found it in you, only to have "it" --to have you-- slip right between my fingers, to disappear from my grasp and my life because I didn't know what to do or how to act.

I take the long road home now-- the same roads we walked that night. All the way from the Kaiba Corp. offices to the train station, bypassing the stop I would normally get off to go home. Instead, I go to Harajuku, walk those same roads, get a crepe, and walk back. All the way back home to Domino. Kilometer after kilometer, but I never arrive home "exhausted" or "feeling it" in my bones. It's become routine, now.

The first time I returned to Angel Heart, the girl working there recognized me, and politely joked about you not being there. I didn't say anything-- just gave her the yen for the crepe... and walked off. After that, I'm sure they gossiped about me --me and you, really, though I don't know if they recognized us at all-- and the next time I showed up, no one said anything.

I ordered the same thing, the same crepe, over and over again. The same taste lingers in my mouth now, of strawberries and whip cream... and of cheesecake. Just a bit of cheesecake, just a bit of memory left over that I keep trying to hold onto, every time I walk this road home.