Disclaimer: (Snort) Watch me get rich with this...Yuugiou is not mine!
A/N: Strange little piece, sort of allegorical.
Yuugi/Anzu, although Yuugi/Atemu as well.
No, it couldn't be...!
Anzu tears her eyes from the cereal box and stares at the young man across the aisle. Skinny, small, with spiky hair - damn it, it HAS to be him!
She tries to clear her head. It seems almost surreal. She saw him off at the airport three years ago, both of them sniffling and crying and promising to write each other everyday.
Of course, he never did, and eventually she stopped too. And the friendship arrested, and memories of him dimmed reluctantly from her mind.
But there he is now, her mind screams at her. Go to him!
Anzu tightens her hold on the Cheerios. All right, Anzu, she tells herself. You can do this. You can dance in front of crowds at Broadway and you can certainly talk to a midget!
Except he isn't a midget now. He is still small, but she hasn't grown, so that when she gets closer, she sees that he's at least an inch taller than her. And she's wearing heels too.
"Hey," he says, surprising her. He looks up and he smiles. There is a mischievous twinkle in his eyes that makes her heart throb. "I didn't expect to see you here."
Anzu looks around. It's just a supermarket. "Why not?" she asks, her voice trembling.
"I thought you'd be in New York," Yuugi says.
"It's August. I get August off," says Anzu, as if it were a habit, though it is her first August since her dancing career. "And why are you here?"
Yuugi blushes. "Because," he says.
Hope suddenly blossoms in Anzu's heart. Blind, persevering hope that has haunted her these forty months. She tries to quench it, but warmth spreads through her body and she finds that she likes it.
Love dies hard, and hers never tried.
"Because...because what?" Anzu asks.
A girl comes along then, sidling over to Yuugi. She is shorter than him by about a head, blonde and blue-eyed, and Anzu has to admit that they look good together.
In fact, she recognizes her.
"Rebecca?" Anzu says.
Yuugi and Rebecca do not answer at first. Rebecca snakes her arm around his neck and he drops a kiss on her neck before they both look up. "We're engaged," Rebecca says. Blandly.
"Oh," Anzu says. She wonders if she were blushing. She hopes she is, because maybe the fire from her cheeks can consume her. "Well, in that case, I should go."
"Anzu..." Yuugi says.
"Yeah?" Anzu says, a thousand different hopes thumping in her chest.
"It's good to see you again...I'll send you an invitation soon..."
Anzu leaves and starts running. Her heels slip off and break but she doesn't care. It isn't till she is home that she realizes that she is still holding that box of cereal that she apparently stole from the store.
The days after, Anzu spends at least half her time staring at the wall, thinking about Yuugi and Rebecca. The other half, she's either sleeping, eating and drinking, or thinking about not thinking about Yuugi and Rebecca.
She wonders what they do. If they are so intimate in public, how are they like at home?
She wonders how Yuugi kisses. Then she grows angry at herself because Yuugi might have kissed her, if she weren't so set on some dead pharaoh from three thousand years ago.
It's no wonder Yuugi doesn't like her anymore. Who loves a necrophilic?
Then Anzu begins waiting for the invitation. At least she can see Yuugi again, dazzling in her pink ball gown, with a proper reason.
The wedding invitation never comes.
Yuugi and Rebecca seem determined to stay out of touch with her.
That is, until Anzu sees Rebecca in the park one day, kissing another man. Her heart speeds up - how dare she! - and she is at the bench before she realizes she moved.
"You!" she cries.
Rebecca looks up calmly, though there is an unknown emotion in her eyes. Her lover glances at her. "Go along," Rebecca says. "Return in an hour."
The man nods and leaves. Anzu takes his place at the bench, fuming.
Rebecca speaks first. "We never sent you a wedding invitation," she begins, but Anzu reacts.
"No, so you are married, and now you're kissing another man!"
"That's my husband. He'll be, anyway. He's my fiance."
Anzu blinks. "Then Yuugi -"
"He was never serious about our relationship. I realize that now," Rebecca says, and there is no remorse in her voice. "He doesn't love me the way he once loved someone."
Atemu, Anzu thinks, but it is hard to be bitter at a dead person whom she also loved.
"So...what about him now?"
Rebecca shrugs. "You can find him flirting at clubs."
"Flirting?" Anzu repeats. "The Yuugi I know does not flirt!"
"Yes, and the Yuugi I know does not dump a girl with his engagement ring," Rebecca says. Blandly.
"I see," Anzu says.
"If you ask me," Rebecca says, "that pharaoh left some kind of a hole in his heart. I think it's time someone mends that hole before more girls get hurt! Oh, and if you see him, tell him that I hope he's happy! I sent HIM my wedding invitation!"
Anzu has never seen Rebecca so riled, not even when the pharaoh lost Yuugi's soul. She stands, wordless, as Rebecca stalks off.
Honda and Jounouchi proposed a reunion.
"Come on, Anzu, it'll be fun," Jou assures her. "We get to tease him and make short jokes all over again..."
"Even if you're the shorter one now," Honda laughs.
"Has either of you seen Yuugi?" Anzu says acerbically.
"Yeah, just the other day, he invited me and Mai for coffee."
Anzu glares at Jounouchi silently. It doesn't seem fair. He never works hard and he seems to get everything. He has a pretty girlfriend, a solid job at Kaiba Corp, and now he even gets his friendship with Yuugi back.
And what does she have?
"Well, he practically lives at my place now," Honda announces.
"Oh," says Anzu.
The boys look at each other. "Hasn't he contacted you?" Jou says cautiously.
"With Cheerios," Anzu says, and suddenly she has a wild urge to laugh.
She gives in and she laughs until tears come, and she leans her head against Honda's shoulder and does not cringe when Jou hugs her from behind.
Yuugi arrives at the reunion, to Anzu's great surprise. She does not expect him to keep a promise this important to her.
However, she does expect him to be handsome, and handsome he is.
He wears a suit that's both casual and formal, and he presents her with a bouquet of white roses.
Anzu takes them with a forced smile and a thumping heart. She wonders how many other times has he presented these things to a girl he pretends to care about.
She wonders if she's different, and she hates herself for second-guessing him.
However, she plays along. "Good to see you," she says, and leans over to kiss him on the cheek. It feels warm under her lips.
The four friends sit down at the dinner table and order briefly. Then they turn to each other.
"So, Yuug," Honda says, "might be a good time now to tell us what you've been up to."
Yuugi looks down at the tablecloth and laughs. "I've been studying a lot," he says. "Went to America and studied under Professor Hawkins."
He looks at Anzu then. That explains Rebecca, Anzu thinks.
"But I finished and I got a job in Tokyo, so I'm here for the summer," Yuugi says. "I'll be leaving next month."
Next month! Anzu wants to scream. We barely got to know you again and now-
"Now you, Anzu," Yuugi says, smiling at her. "What have you been up to?"
Anzu looks at him and the words get stuck in her mouth. Suddenly, she can't see Yuugi, but some freak who goes around clubs and presents white roses and rings to other girls.
"I was in New York, dancing in a musical," she says tightly. "I reckon I'll get a ballet teacher soon so..."
She doesn't know what she said after that, and she doesn't care. She knows that Jou said something and that Honda did. But all she can think of is how everything used to be, when Atemu used to pop in and out and make Yuugi happy, when they still duel and when duel monster cards are more than cardboards, and when monsters actually existed.
But all the magic is gone now, and suddenly she can't take it anymore.
She slams down her fork on the lobster and she dashes outside, and she doesn't see Yuugi half-rising to go after her.
For every story, there is a climax. Anzu wonders if she found hers.
But it seems awfully climatic. She will be going back to New York in a week and she still hasn't explained anything to her three friends. No, two friends and one stranger.
Instead, she sits around the flat and eats ice cream, and she is darn lucky she dances or else she would lose her slimness.
The mailman comes and knocks. She opens the door.
"No mail for me, I guess," she says flatly, and sees that the mailman has spiky hair.
"Anzu," Yuugi says.
Anzu looks around. No blonde comes and curls arms around him. Yuugi understands.
"I've stopped. I never began," he says softly. "Rebecca...anyway, it's all misunderstanding...but it's all okay now."
Anzu blocks the doorway still, instinctually. "Oh," she says, hollowly.
"Anzu, I'm sorry I left," Yuugi says.
Anzu blinks. It's the first time in so much time that anyone spoke about this.
"I left a lot behind, you know. My dueling career. My friends. I really didn't want the memories to choke me. I needed a new beginning, and I didn't explain it to you because I thought you of all people would understand."
"I do understand," Anzu says, "but that doesn't make anything better."
"But you know you aren't the most important thing I've lost, Anzu. I lost...him."
Anzu closes her eyes. She should have long accepted that Atemu meant more to Yuugi than she could ever be, but it still hurt. "Yeah, but you had to," she manages to say.
"I guess," Yuugi says. "And before he left, he tells me to take good care of you. He loves you."
Anzu looks at him and tilts her head. "What?"
"Not the way he...loves me, but he knows...you...and me..." Yuugi looks down at his hands. "And I couldn't promise. I didn't know how to."
"But...maybe...now I do."
Anzu smiles and lifts her chin. She wonders if he is going to kiss her, but instead he steps back. "Um, can I come in?"
Anzu laughs. "Oh yes, do come in," she says, taking him by the hand and leading him inside. "I..."
But she doesn't finish. Yuugi leans over and kisses her, and she forgets everything, including how to stand.
Somehow, they stumble back onto her couch, still kissing, because neither wants to let go, because both have waited and practiced so long.
When they part, Yuugi leans against Anzu's breasts, shaking a little. In some form, Anzu recognizes the little boy she once knew, and she strokes his hair.
"I love you," she murmurs.
He does not respond, but he presses his face against her neck.
They lay like that for a long time, Anzu hugging Yuugi and Yuugi nibbling her neck, until a crack of thunder scares them apart. "A summer storm," Anzu says, trying to fix her hair.
She stands up and Yuugi gets up with her, sliding his arms around her waist.
"Um," Anzu says, as she starts toward the kitchen. "Want...want some Cheerios?"
In the end, the bowls never get taken out.
Instead, Anzu and Yuugi make it to her bed.
The garments find themselves on the floor and hands explore each other's bodies. The last thing Anzu remembers is Yuugi stradding her waist as she spreads her legs. Then there are only sounds. There are moans of joy and sounds of kisses and more as the lightning strikes and the thunder cracks.
The next morning, she wakes up to find the bed empty.
She suddenly laughs in understanding. She dresses and finds him in the kitchen.
He is eating Cheerios.
Anzu pours herself a bowl and she sits by him, spooning them into her mouth as well. Once in a while, they look at each other and smile. Their ankles are crossed.
The demons of yesterday fade, and there is only the contented sound of munching.
A/N: Greatly appreciated if you could review!