Well, this is it, the final chapter. Took me long enough didn't it? Well, it would take you a long time too if you were in college and had a girlfriend. Anyway, this is the last chapter. When you're done reading this, go read 'Eternal Love' and wait for the sequel. I can't believe that after 16 chapters and 216 hits there's only 4 reviews. You guys make me sad. (cries)

Chapter 17: Awakening

"Marik!" I shouted. I sat up suddenly and became extremely light headed half a second later. A soft hand touched my shoulder and gently pushed me back down.

"Hush. It's over now. You need to rest," a girl's voice said.

"T-Téa?" I stuttered. My voice sounded weak and my throat hurt when I spoke.

"Yes, Brian, it's me," came Téa's sweet response. "I'm glad that you're alright. You've been out for a day and a half."

"What happened?" I asked. "I was battling Marik and then…I don't remember. Where am I?"

"I can answer that last one," she replied. "You're in my bedroom. Everyone else is here too. I'm sure they'll be happy to know that you're okay. You did save the world, you know."

"I guess," I said. I tried to laugh but it turned into a cough. What had happened that made me so weak?

"Hey, he's awake?" I heard someone ask. I wasn't sure but it sounded like Yugi. "Why didn't you tell us Téa?"

"He just woke up and he's a little disoriented," Téa explained. "I think you should get Yami to come in and explain what happened."

"What are you talking about? Yugi is Yami," I questioned. I looked over and briefly saw Yugi as he left the room.

"A lot has happened. You'll see in minute," Téa assured me. A moment later, Yugi returned to the room with an older version of himself. "Brian, this is Yami, the ancient Pharaoh from Egypt."

"How is this possible?" I questioned as I sat up again. "I thought you only existed in the Millennium Puzzle and whomever wore it."

"Yes, that was the case," Yami replied. "When I recovered the Millennium Rod and Ring from Marik, my spirit was separated and transferred to a new vessel."

"So that's it huh? It's all over now?" I asked. Yami replied with a nod. "Wait, what about Mai and Bakura?"

"I released Mai's soul before we left and she appears to be fine, a little freaked out, but otherwise fine," Yami explained. "Bakura, on the other hand, was no where to be found."

"What do you mean?" I questioned. "He was sent to the Shadow Realm. His soul should be there somewhere."

"Yes. But think, if it is there, where is his body?" Yami responded. I was fairly new to the Shadow Realm's strength but I knew he was right.

"What now then?" I asked.

"Now, you rest," Téa told me as she pushed me back down. She then kissed me on the cheek and left the room with Yami. I fell asleep a few minutes later.

I woke up after two or three hours and made my way downstairs. I found everyone in the living room, Yugi playing a game of Duel Monsters with Tristan while Serenity watched, Yami and Téa talking about something I couldn't hear, and Joey and Mai sitting pretty close on the couch. I walked in and sat down next to Téa who greeted me cheerfully.

"Hey, you. Feeling better?" she asked.

"Yeah, everything's still a little hazy but I'm fine," I assured her. I ran my hand through my hair and that's when I noticed it. "Hey! Where's my Millennium Bracelet?"

"Don't worry, it's safe," Yami said. "I kept the puzzle and put the rod, ring, necklace, and bracelet under heavy security."

"What? Heavy security?" I wondered out loud.

"Kaiba's got 'em," Joey spoke up.

"You gave them to Kaiba?" I half shouted. "He's gonna melt them down for money…more money!"

"After everything that happened during the tournament, Kaiba sort of acknowledges the existence of the power of the Millennium Items," Yugi explained without looking up from his and Tristan's game.

"We must retrieve them soon, Lord Yami," a voice spoke up. Everyone stopped what they were doing to find the source of the voice.

"What are you doing here?" I asked pointing at Shadi.

"It is time to complete your revival, Lord Yami," Shadi said ignoring me completely.

"So it seems," Yami replied. He sounded sad. His eyes were closed and his head was bent down as if he were thinking hard. "Let's do it then."

"Wait. What's going on here?" I asked. It seemed that Yami and Shadi knew but they didn't say anything. Everyone else looked as confused as I felt.

"Come, I will explain on the way," Shadi said to us.

Together, Yami, Yugi, Joey, Téa, Tristan, and I followed Shadi outside and through the city to the Kaiba Corp building. We walked straight in and went up to Kaiba's office, not being stopped by a single security officer once. Kaiba's office was just as plush and expensive as I had expected it to be.

"So, you're here for the items, I take it?" Kaiba asked as if he regarded us as human.

"Yes, that is correct Kaiba," Yami answered.

"Whatever, follow me," Kaiba ordered. We followed Kaiba down the hall to a room marked high security. "This is it. The items are in this safe."

Kaiba opened the lock and Yami reached in and took the items out one by one. He placed the necklace and ring around his neck and held the rod in his hand. He then handed me the bracelet which I looked down at for a few moments but didn't put it on.

"Something wrong, Brian?" Téa asked me.

"It's just…I don't know if I can take this back," I told everyone. Yami was the only one to ask me why. "I may have been destined to have this, but it's just put people in danger, especially Téa. I don't want anyone to get hurt anymore."

"Yeah, I know how you feel," Yugi told me. "There were times I wanted to give up the puzzle as well. But, in the end, I could never bring myself to do it."

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't run away from this," I said.

"You won't have to," Shadi explained. "Yami is to take all of the items now."

"You have recovered the other two then?" Yami asked, receiving a nod from Shadi. "Let's do this then."

I watched curiously as Shadi placed the items in a circle on the floor with Yami in the center. When he placed the eighth item, they all began to glow. They floated into the air and light came from them and shone on Yami, making him glow like a Christmas tree. The light became too bright to look at and I was forced to turn away. The light faded and when I looked up I found myself to be in a place other than Kaiba's office building. I looked down and realized I was standing in sand. I also noticed I was wearing a black robe and there was a long knife tucked into my belt, the same blade that I picked up during the trials.

"What's going on here?" I wondered out loud. There was no one else around so I was talking to myself. There were a bunch of weapons lying about, mostly swords, shields, and spears. "Was this a battle field? I don't see any bodies…what's going on?"

I looked into the sky and saw dark clouds similar to the ones in the Shadow Realm. I suddenly felt uneasy and that's when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I spun around and looked directly at Téa. I turned back and I saw Yami again and I was also back in the Kaiba Corp building in my regular clothes.

"Brian, are you okay?" Téa questioned.

"You look like you've seen a ghost," Yugi added.

"I…think I did," I replied. "It was strange. I was in another time or something."

"It seems that you too have ties to the Pharaoh," Shadi stated.

"Yes, he was my bodyguard," Yami said. "We fought many battles together."

"Whoa…seriously?" Joey murmured.

"Yes, and his fighter from the Shadow Realm was Buster Blader," Yami continued.

"I saw a battle field I think," I said. "That might have been a memory from the past. Maybe this ritual is causing the same effect on me."

"That battle…" Yami murmured. "I'm not going to make the same mistake again. I know what I have to do."

"Do about what?" Tristan asked.

"Brian, that battle field you saw was the last memory of Skarra," Yami explained. "In that battle, my kingdom was lost and he lost his greatest treasure."

"He lost the bracelet," I said with some doubt.

"No, he was not the original holder," Yami said. He then stepped forward and took mine and Téa's hands and placed them in one another. I looked up from our hands to her face and she blushed brightly. "This is your destiny. Fate has given you another chance, this time it will be fulfilled."

"What's going to happen to you now Yami?" Yugi asked curiously.

"I have made a choice," he replied. "I have taken the power of all the Millennium Items into my body and I will take the Egyptian god cards and seal myself into the Shadow Realm. That way no one else will suffer from the dangers that lie within."

"What about the items themselves?" I wondered.

"They are powerless now, no one will come for them. It will be safe for you to hang onto them," Yami explained.

"Well, I think Yugi and Brian should take them," Tristan suggested. "They're the ones that were supposed to have them in the first place."

"Thanks but no thanks. Besides I got my jewel right here," I said giving Téa's hand a squeeze. "Yugi can go ahead and take them. Maybe put them on display in your game shop. They are part of the origin of Duel Monsters after all."

"I guess I should take my leave," Yami said. He turned around and opened a portal to the Shadow Realm. "There should be no more trouble after I'm gone so don't worry about anything."

"Yeah…no trouble," Yugi muttered sadly but Yami was already gone.

"Hey, c'mon Yug! We're gettin' outta here!" Joey called over his shoulder. He and Tristan were already out the door and heading down the hall.

"Yugi!" Kaiba said, stopping Yugi, Téa, and I before we left. "I'll have the items sent to your house this evening."

"Thanks, Kaiba," Yugi replied. Kaiba responded with his standard 'whatever' before he was out of earshot. "I guess Kaiba's not all that bad."

"Yeah, if you like grumpy old men at a young age," I joked. The three of us laughed for a second.

"So, what happens to us now?" Téa asked. "We've been running around saving the world for the past year now."

"I guess we go about our lives," I said. "You and me get to build a stronger relationship, Yugi gets a normal life for a change, Joey and Mai will most likely hook up, and Duke and Tristan will fight over Serenity. How that all adds up to normal is beyond me."

"We'll figure it out," Téa laughed. We caught up with Joey and Tristan and headed out of Kaiba Corp laughing and giggling like the friends we were.

"Off to our new lives," I thought. "Ready to play our cards against whatever life summons. Let's do this!"