Our Last Dance
By – Hime no Ichigo

Genre: Romance/Angst
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: Yami/Yuugi
Story Type: One-shot
Summary: "Parting is such sweet sorrow." The final moments between Yami and Yuugi, during the night before the Final Duel.

Disclaimer: I don't own Yuugiou so carry on now, nothing interesting here to see… keep reading. n.n

Warnings: SPOILERS ALERT! SPOILERS ALERT!! Don't say I didn't warn you; SPOILERS for the ending of Yuugiou, if you haven't already seen it!! …And angst, yes…told in Yami's POV!

Assumption to be followed in this fic: they both know of the "ritual" that has to take place before Malik explains the Ceremonial Duel to them.

Keys: "Speaking", 'Thinking'
/Yami to Hikari (and vice versa) telepathically/

-----

/Aibou! You made it back, safe and sound, thank Ra./

/Of course, mou-no, Atemu./

/You can still call me your "other me", aibou./

/But…now that you have your real name, wouldn't you want to be called by that?/

/By the others. But not you…/

/Oh all right, mou hitori no boku./

-----

'We' were sitting in the living room, in front of the fireplace, with a mug of hot chocolate warming up 'our' hands. Aibou was in control of his body, sitting cross-legged on the carpet. I, in my transparent form, was resting on the couch.

The fireplace was roaring merrily, casting shadows over the objects that were in its path. The flames crackled with life with its sparks.

I watched Yuugi as the flames from the fireplace danced off his violet eyes. His face was contorted in slight concentration, and somehow, his gaze just seemed to be lost in the fire. His delicate fingers were absent-mindedly fiddling with the cup, rotating it slowly in his hands. He was thinking about something, I was sure of it. Exactly what, I did not know; after our brief greeting a few seconds back, his mind has relaxed back to a state where tranquility existed. I did not want to bother him, especially now that at last the chaos was over, and we finally had peace.

The Kame Game Shop was closed early, since Jii-chan desired his much-needed sleep nowadays. The house was awfully quiet except the soothing crackling of the fire and the gentle breeze outside that shook the windows just a little. My eyes drooped under the harmonious environmental conditions, and my head nodded to the rhythm of the wind.

A sigh emitted from Yuugi's lips. I glanced up at the sound, feeling myself waking up from inside. But he said no more.

I could not take the silence much longer anymore.

I lightly leaped off the couch and crouched next to Yuugi, my crimson eyes boring into his in a questioning stare. He blinked, smiled weakly, and our hands met.

Temporarily.

We both sighed, knowing that in the real world it was useless to touch each other. It was not fair.

Life was not fair.

My hand ghosted over Yuugi's face. I knew he could feel my hand's presence there, for we had done this so often times. A sigh of contentment reached my ears as our undisturbed moment continued.

"You know…" Yuugi finally spoke after three minutes of quiet stroking. "Tomorrow, we'll have to fight."

My heart panged at the sight of Yuugi's forlorn face and the words. The words hurt. They hurt a lot. My movements stilled in mid-air, and he looked at me intently, expecting a response.

"I…"

I could not say it. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I knew I would lose – Yuugi had come a long way since we first met, but that was not what plagued me the most…

"It's all right, you know…to confess, to cry, to do whatever you want."

"I…"

The words simply died in my throat. My mind was, unbelievably, clear at the moment, yet the words never had the chance to get out. Millions of phrases and thoughts flowed through my brain.

My eyes met with Yuugi's once again to plead for escape. He shook his head, wanting me to relieve of everything.

I motioned my hand to the floor above us, and I disappeared in a flash of golden light.

-----

I opened my soul room's door slowly. It creaked, again. Darkness encountered my eyes. Then the light came on.

I felt a presence next to me. There was no need to ask who it was, only two possibilities existed, and the Shadows knew better than to disturb me now.

I took my partner's hand and guided him through my soul room, wary of all the traps I've set up against mind intruders.

"Mou hitori no boku," Yuugi panted. "Slow down."

My pace slowed to allow Yuugi to catch his breath. "We are almost there," I said distantly.

He nodded and we continued to proceed. At the end of the hall was the door I was looking for. The door was inscribed with the Eye of Ra, with the Sennen Puzzle below, and the three Egyptian God cards circled around it. It just struck me how much the door resembled the stone tablet back in Domino Museum.

"In here," I mumbled, prodding Yuugi slightly in the back. "Shadows," I commanded in the same loud and confident voice I used against my duelling opponents. "Leave." The darkness lifted and the room was revealed to being sandy-looking and dusty. Yuugi coughed. Under my concerned look and the Shadows' scrutinizing stare, full of unwillingness and hatred, he smiled and nodded, indicating that everything was all right. The Shadows visibly sulked, to me. They left for another room to brood in.

Only when I felt that their aura was practically non-existent did I drop my cool demeanour. I slid down the side of the wall and Yuugi crouched down and sat beside me.

"Are you okay?"

"Yes," my breaths became short and ragged. "Just…the Shadows were draining my energy a while back and I need to get it back."

Another odd silence fell between us, and gave me the opportunity to regain some of my strength back. I breathed deeply. Already the calming waves of reassurance from Yuugi were soothing my tense muscles. I became relaxed.

But physically he was still distant from me.

"Come, aibou," I offered a hand and he took it obediently. It pained me to see this show of quiet submission; he was usually not like this. I led him to the far end of the room where my bed was placed.

I sat down and gently placed my Light on my lap, my chin nestled into his soft, silky hair.

A content sigh left his lips and I smiled slightly. I knew I was the only one who could make him feel this way, and I felt a surge of pride run through me again, like every time we had moments like this. I cherished moments like this as well.

Our previous conversation seemed to have disappeared into thin air; I was glad that it was not brought up. I was perfectly content with him in my arms, and nothing could tear us apart.

Nothing, except…

"So, mou hitori no boku, are you feeling anxious about tomorrow?" Yuugi asked in a would-be casual voice.

I groaned inwardly. Why are you bringing this up again, my Light…? "Me, anxious?" I gave a laugh that covered pretty much all of my nervousness. "Why would I be?"

"Well…" his voice trailed off, his hands gestured at the room hopelessly. "Won't you…" He paused again. Apparently the words died in his throat.

"Yes?" I prompted.

"You know…" His fingers found a piece of cloth and subconsciously started to twist it nervously. "You're not anxious about the ritual tomorrow? How…" His voice faded into silence again.

"How you will have to defeat me in a duel?" I supplied softly.

His head shifted up and down slowly, telling me I was partly correct. So I prompted him again.

"And," he stirred. "If I win, you'll have to leave…" He put so much emphasis on the last word, it stung my heart.

"Oh aibou," I gave his middle another squeeze and he gave a tiny squeak in surprise. "Silly, silly aibou…"

He turned around and I was pleased to see a look of indignation in his eyes. "I'm not being silly; I'm merely stating the consequences!"

I smiled. Here we go at last. "Well, then, why talk of this? We will see the results tomorrow anyway."

We looked at each other for quite a while. Then Yuugi nodded. "You're right; we'll see how it all turns out tomorrow nevertheless. No more talk about the ritual then."

Another silence fell between us; they were becoming too frequent. I did not like it.

"I do not want to leave…" I mumbled into his soft silky hair a while later.

"I don't want you to leave either, but you have to."

"But that means I can never be close to you, hold you again…ever…"

"I'll always be in your heart, and you in mine."

I turned him around and my lips attached themselves to his. I sensed that his eyes opened slightly in surprise, but he adapted to it quickly.

This was our last night.

Last night, together, as true a pair of lovers can ever be…

-----

"I now reveal the card hidden inside the Golden Chest of Sealing," Yuugi announced. The lid to the golden box lifted, and exposed the magic card inside.

Monster Reborn.

I watched, not my monster, but at Yuugi as Osiris' growls diminished. His violet eyes glimmered and his body was trembling. My God Dragon had gone to the card graveyard and I was open to a direct attack. But it made no big difference.

I could tell Yuugi was fighting against his own wishes to issue the attack. I sent a wave of assurance to him, pushing him, until the fateful call came.

"Silent Magician, attack!"

With an attack power at 3,500, and my lifepoints at 2,500, I knew the duel went to him. But I was glad, for once, that I lost a duel.

Yuugi fell to the ground, tears streamed down his face. I winced, took off my duel disk, and took painfully slow steps towards him. I took extreme care as to not betray our 'secret' before the others… I did not want to spoil our last moment… I wanted Yuugi to have the best image of me imprinted in his mind, before I left him…

"I lost, aibou," I whispered simply, but smiling slightly. I was not called King of Games to be a sore loser. I bent down and dared to touch his shoulder, sending as much tenderness as I could without the others noticing our 'relationship'.

"Stand up, aibou, winners should not be kneeling on the ground and feet of the defeated," I said, a little sternly, but still with the same small smile on my face. I wanted to hug him, to wipe his tears away, to tell him everything was all right and he did the right thing, but I could not…

It hurts…

"But…" Yuugi finally managed to choke out between his sobs. "I'm so weak. You were always my goal, always the one I wanted to ever be… I want to be strong, like you…"

Something in my heart tugged at the meaning underneath those words.

"And now, you're leaving…" He stared up at me, blinking back his tears in a futile attempt.

Everything fell away as I met his gaze. I wanted nothing more than to hold him close now - I ignored the fact that there were people watching us; I ignored what they said afterwards; nothing else mattered. Ignoring all else, I scooped him into a hug and closed my eyes. "You are not weak," I told him, stroking his hair.

Like Yin and Yang, darkness and light fitted together in a perfect shape. Too bad that I won't be his 'darkness' anymore

I heard a sharp intake of breath somewhere behind us. I heard scuffled footsteps; the sound of someone taking a step back. I heard the restless shuffles of clothing. We were under scrutinizing, understanding, and incredulous stares, but I did not care anymore…

His grip on me tightened.

It is not fair…

I gently took his hands in mine and separated ourselves. Yuugi looked at the floor and I placed my hands on his shoulders. It took a moment to steady myself and the flow of emotions that coursed through me. "You showed me the way I should head from now on… You accepted this task, and for that I thank you." I dropped a kiss on his forehead as a sign of guardianship.

"I know it took every ounce of strength, determination and final resolution to play that card. I know the message you were trying to send me; as a spirit I should no longer be wandering in this world anymore. So again, I thank you." I tilted his head up and dropped another kiss, this time on his nose, as a sign of gratitude and sincerity.

"Most of all, though, I thank you for all the memories…" This time I captured his lips with mine in a soft and final kiss as a sign of love and eternity. It was fiery and desperate from both sides and, selfish enough to say, I did not want it to stop.

I chuckled inwardly at the irony. What eternity? I am about to leave him

But it did, like all things. My hands slid from his shoulders and reached down for his hands. My ruby eyes bored into his tear-rimmed violet ones. /Promise me, Yuugi, that you will live on and not dwell on my departure…/

/Of course, mou hitori no boku./

/I am no longer your 'other me', Yuugi… You are you, and no one else can be you. We will meet again, aibou./

Isis' words barely penetrated my mind before I let go of Yuugi's hands, still staring at him, trying to commit every detail to memory before we really parted. The time has come…

I stared up at the shimmering Eye. "Atemu!" I said clearly at the Door. A beam of golden light grew wider as the Door opened. I stared defiantly up at it. So this is how it ends…

The Eye of Ra admitted me.

I won't forget you…

Ever…

Had I looked back, I would not have been able to leave at all. I thought I had felt something salty roll off the corners of my eyes, as I passed through the Door under Yuugi's sorrowful gaze, with falling tears but a bitter smile on his face.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

- Owari -

Authoress Notes: (sniffles) That's it, folks, the ficcie's over…with Yami's departure.

Now…review, won't you? (gives you the puppy dog eyes)

revised 12/11/07