A Requiem for Innocence
It was midnight. Probably a little bit after midnight actually. Yami had a clock and could have looked over at it to check if he'd wanted, but he didn't much want to. He'd been laying there on his bed ever since he got home, knowing he was acting foolish, and he didn't really want to know exactly how long he'd laid there, staring blankly at the ceiling but not seeing it. Not seeing anything. Not even wanting to see anything, just wanting to lie there alone and go over what had happened that evening, go over it again and again and immortalize it in his mind.
Because he knew that after this night, his life wasn't going to be the same.
Four hours earlier: 8:30pm
Without warning, Yami had gotten the urge to go buy more Duel Monsters cards. This wasn't uncommon, hardly a week passed that he didn't go and collect more. It was the sort of thing you do when you're obsessed with games and happen to have a lot of spare money sitting around. And, to Yami's great fortune, not only was he obsessed with games, but he'd also recently won another tournament and had way more money than he thought he really needed.
There were two other hobby stores on the way from his apartment to the Kame Game shop, but he ignored these on his way. His urge to go buy cards was partially due to his love for the game, but more due to his secret love for something else.
He scolded himself about it in the car on the way. Yugi's a seventeen-year-old high school student. You're a twenty-four-year-old, plus 5000, professional duelist with too much money and no other discernable life. It doesn't matter if Yugi was once your host, and it doesn't matter if he's impossibly cute. That is still no right for you to feel this way about him, got that?
It was rather pathetic because he knew full well that he could say whatever he wanted but it wouldn't change a thing. And what he found even more pathetic was how he'd repeated this same speech to himself so many times, he'd gotten it down to where he could repeat it exactly three times from leaving his own driveway to arriving at the game shop.
You are an incredibly sorry excuse for a person. He chided as he got out of the car. You're in love with a teenager! How shallow can you go? You ought to be ashamed of yourself!
Yugi, of course, had no idea how he felt. At least, Yami was pretty sure he didn't know. He'd tried extra hard to keep his feelings hidden. It hadn't been easy, especially during the time they'd shared a body, and Yugi had had easy access to his thoughts. If he ever suspected anything though, he certainly hadn't mentioned it, and Yami was taking no news as good news in this respect.
You never should have let it go this far. You should have stopped yourself back when you still could.
He walked up to the door and stopped for a moment with a sigh, his hand on the knob. There was no use thinking it. He knew full well there had never been a point when he "still could". From the start he'd been attracted to Yugi's innocence, to his pure spirit and his kindness and his heart. He had never had a chance to stop himself.
As he stood there, he happened to glance over to his side and noticed another car parked off to the side of the house. He hadn't noticed that car when he'd pulled up. Maybe Yugi and his family were having company over.
"Hello?" he asked, opening the door. The downstairs was empty, which would have made sense to anyone else. Technically the shop was closed, but Yugi and his grandfather had told him to come by whenever he wanted to buy cards. Still, it was odd. Normally Yugi's grandfather at least was still down here, organizing the day's receipts and setting up the shelves for the next day. But the main room was empty. He walked inside and asked louder, "Anyone here?"
"Yami?" Yugi's voice drifted down the stairs and was soon followed by the teenager himself.
"Ah, hey. I hope I'm not interrupting anything." Yami apologized, figuring his earlier assumptions had been right and they were having company over. "I just wanted to pick up some more cards." He smiled a little too broadly and rubbed the back of his neck. "I know it's a bit late, but…well, you know how I am."
"I sure do." Yugi was obviously making a good try at sounding cheerful, but when he turned back to hand Yami the box of card packs, Yami saw an upset look in his eyes.
"Is it that obvious?" Yugi asked with a sigh.
"I'm really sorry if I'm interrupting your company." Yami said again, feeling guilty.
"No, no, it's not you. Don't worry about it. Here, do you want the latest set, or some of the older ones? I'll give you a deal on the newer set; we're getting a new shipment tomorrow."
Yami gave him a look as he got out his money. "Yugi, tell me what's wrong."
"No, you're upset about something, why won't you tell me what it is?"
Yugi glanced upstairs. "It's nothing." He repeated, handing Yami a bag.
"Who's visiting?" Yami finally asked.
Yugi was silent for a few moments. "My dad."
"Really?" Yami knew that Yugi's father was a businessman that was often away on trips around not only Japan, but in the US and Europe as well. He wasn't often home to visit.
"I'll guess your mom's pretty happy about that, huh?" Yami asked with a smile.
"I guess." The humour seemed to be lost on him.
Yami frowned. Something was definitely not right with Yugi this evening. His mind raced, trying to think of a way to stall Yugi long enough for him to spit out what was the problem. "Well, thanks for the cards. Ah…you know, the other day I dropped a pen down under the seat of my car, and my hand isn't small enough to get under it. Do you think you could get it out? It's one of my favourite pens."
"I could try." Yugi replied, following him out to the car. He felt around under the front seat for a moment and came up with a 100-yen coin and a black hair tie, but no pen.
Yami expected that. Of course there was no pen under the seat, he'd made it up. To keep Yugi from finding this out though, he just shrugged and said,
"Hmmn, maybe it rolled out. It's probably under the back seat. I can get it out later myself then."
"Alright." Was Yugi's reply as he turned back toward the shop.
"Well, good night." Yami called.
Yami watched him walk toward the door, then took off after him, grabbing him by the shoulder before he reached it.
"What're you doing?" Yugi demanded.
"Yugi, I know something's wrong with you." Yami replied, unable to take it anymore. "I want to know what it is. I might be able to help you."
"I told you, it's nothing!"
"If it was nothing, you wouldn't look so upset."
"It's nothing you can fix!"
"Why won't you just tell me what it is?"
Yugi stared at him for a moment, and without warning his eyes filled with tears.
"Yugi?" Yami asked in concern. "What is it? What's wrong?"
"What?" He took a step forward, his hands on Yugi's shoulders. "Yugi, please tell me."
"Moving?" Yami repeated.
"To the United States, in America." Yugi finally whispered.
It hit Yami all at the same time. That must be why Yugi's father had come home, and why everyone was upstairs, probably in the middle of a family meeting. And Yugi…Yugi was going to be gone.
"My parents want me to finish my education there. And go to college there. They said it'll be good for me."
"But-but what about what you were always saying, that you were going to take over the Kame Game shop? I thought that was your dream?"
Yugi shook his head. "My dad…doesn't want me to run a shop. He wants me to be a businessman like he is. He told me an English education will be really helpful."
"Is that what you want?" Yami asked, only to have Yugi shout angrily at him,
"No, no it's not! Do you think I want to spend my life always traveling around, wearing a suit and tie and going to boring meetings, never getting to come home and see my family and friends? Do I look like I want a life like that?"
Taking a good look at Yugi's face, now streaked with tears that had spilled over and contorted in anger, Yami replied awkwardly, "No, no you don't."
Yugi glanced back at the shop and lowered his voice. "My dad says it'll be for my own good. I'll make way better money than I would running a shop. I'll be able to retire well later on, and never have to worry about being in debt because there is always work for a businessman in a good company. He says he's just trying to help me have the best life I can have. But I don't want that life, Yami. I just want to finish high school and start running the game shop myself and stay here in Domino."
"Haven't you told him that?" Yami asked, only to invite another verbal assault.
"Of course I have! But it doesn't make any difference! I've got another year of school to go, and my parents have the final say. They know what I want, but they told me it's impractical and that I can't spend my life playing games. I understand what they mean, I know it makes sense but…"
"But it's really not what you want, is it?" Yami asked softly.
"No, no it's not." Yugi looked down at the sidewalk sadly. "I'm going to miss you all."
Yami took his hands from Yugi's shoulders and put them around him. It was fairly dark out, he didn't have to worry about social etiquette, or anyone seeing them and asking questions. "I'm going to miss you, too, Yugi." He replied quietly, unable to resist stroking his hair a few times.
Yugi returned the hug. "Thanks."
"I don't know. Suddenly I feel better, so I thought I should thank you."
"Oh. Well, you're welcome then." Yami was now exceptionally glad it was dark- Yugi couldn't see him blushing.
"I don't think I can be a good businessman, Yami. I mean, can you imagine me wearing a suit?"
Yami blinked down into Yugi's hair. "No, not really. You might look rather silly."
"Exactly, it's just not my style to be so uptight like that all the time. I want to have fun with my life. Sure, not worrying about money is nice…but I want to enjoy myself. I think that's the most important thing. And I think I would have a great time here, I'd get to see my friends all the time and all the people that come to buy games…and it's really not THAT impractical. So what's the problem?"
"I wish my dad did."
"Maybe he'll change his mind." Yami suggested.
"Oh…well…when are you moving?"
"In about two months. School in America begins in August or September. Mom wants us to be settled before I start twelfth grade."
It was June now, Yugi had turned seventeen only a few weeks before. Yami found it hard to believe that in just a couple of months, Yugi would be gone. It would be the answer to his impromptu card-trip problems, he supposed. And no more yelling at himself. But still…
"You're so lucky, Yami. You love your job and you've already got enough money to retire if you wanted to. And you're only twenty-four."
"More like 5024. I just discovered the secret to semi-eternal youth. Die young and seal yourself inside a puzzle for a few millennia." He replied, hoping to make Yugi laugh. It worked somewhat, Yugi did manage a smile.
"Well…I guess I should be going back upstairs. They'll wonder what's happened to me if I stay down here too long."
They released their hold on each other simultaneously and stood awkwardly for a moment.
"Well…Yugi…um, try not to worry too much. I mean, a lot can happen in a few months." Yami began, trying to sound optimistic.
"Maybe." Yugi looked doubtful. "I don't know Yami…I've lived in Domino my whole life. The idea of leaving…well, I don't really know if you completely understand, since this isn't your hometown. No offense."
"And my parents think the only reason I don't want to leave is because of my friends, and that's true, but that's really not the only reason…I have others, but they wouldn't understand. I mean, everyone has secrets, right? Secrets that no one else understands?"
"Oh, for sure." Yami agreed, thinking of his own secrets.
Yugi suddenly looked embarrassed. "I'm sorry…I didn't mean to bother you with my weird thoughts."
"No, really, it's okay. You've probably got a lot on your mind right now."
"Thank you Yami…of everyone I'll be leaving…I'm going to really miss you the most."
"I'll miss you a lot too, Yugi. I mean, where else can I walk into someone's house at 9:00 at night and not get shot, right?"
He finally succeeded in getting a small laugh out of Yugi. "Thanks Yami…you always know how to cheer me up."
"Aw, it's nothing." Yami brushed it off. "I wish I could help you not be so sad, though."
"But you have helped." Yugi glanced up at him. "I can't explain it but…I don't feel as bad anymore now that I've talked to you."
"No, I'm serious."
Yami stared back at him, then lowered his eyes. "I'm glad I could help. I just wish I could take away all of the problems. I hate seeing you hurt."
"That's awfully nice of you, Yami. Thank you…but you don't need to worry about it. Maybe my parents are right, maybe this whole moving idea is a good one." Yugi looked doubtful though.
"Yugi, even if it'll assure a stable financial life, it's not worth it if you don't want it." Yami suddenly replied, reaching out and putting his hand back on Yugi's shoulder. "Don't try to convince yourself of anything like that."
Yugi stared back evenly. "But-"
"No 'buts'. If you're not going to be happy, don't do it, or at least not without a fight."
"I don't have a choice." Yugi raised his hand and placed it gently over Yami's. "It's not my place to say anything."
"Yugi…I know in your culture, your parents are supposed to know best, and you're supposed to always respect their choices. And I know it would be hard for you to disagree with them. But…I can't stand here and watch you suffer without saying something. I'm sorry. But I can't do it."
"So what're you saying, I should run away or something?"
"No, I'm just saying you shouldn't let them hold you back from your own dreams. And if that means running away…well, I'd be glad to donate some money to you. Heaven knows I have enough."
"Listen to yourself! Trying to stir up rebellion." Yugi shook his head. "I don't think I could run away. I'd end up staying with one of my friends and my parents would find me really easily."
"Okay, fine, I'll drop it. Just promise me something."
"Those secrets you were talking about? The reasons you want to stay? Try to explain them to your parents anyway. They might be hardheaded, but you ARE their son, so they can't be all bad, right?"
"It wouldn't be that easy. I'm not even sure I understand my own thoughts sometimes."
"Believe me, I know how that one goes." Yami muttered to himself. "Just…don't go agreeing with all this if you really don't want that sort of life. It's your own choice. Follow your own heart, not someone else's. And that's about the best advice I can give you."
"I wish everyone was as liberal as you are, Yami. Maybe the world would be a better place." Yugi replied quietly. "Well-like I said…I should be going back upstairs now."
"…Okay." Carefully he removed Yugi's hand from on top of his, foolishly chanced holding it for a moment, and then couldn't let him go.
Don't do anything stupid, Yami. He warned himself. Don't make a mistake you'll regret. Just take your hand away, and get in your car, before you do anything-
There was no point. Yugi's fingers were too warm and his skin too soft and his face too close, and it was too late for a mental talk to do anything. Their lips had already connected before Yami could finish his mantra:
And it was now, as they drew closer together and his eyes dropped shut and he felt Yugi wrap his arms around him, that Yami realized something for the first time. That maybe because he'd been spending so much time trying to keep his own feelings hidden, he'd failed to notice that Yugi, too, was hiding a secret. The exact same secret. And that now of all times, when in only two months Yugi would be gone, was when they would discover it…the irony was between beautiful and cruel.
The kiss lasted only a few moments, and then Yugi broke away and backed up, his eyelashes hiding his eyes so Yami couldn't see them. He held Yami's hand for a second longer, then let him go and took off at a run to the shop, opening the door and vanishing inside.
Yami remained standing on the street. Finally he glanced at the shop, whispered, "Good night, Yugi", got in his car, and drove quietly home.
That had been only four hours before.
And now Yami lay on his bed, in the same place he'd thrown himself when he got home, and even though his eyes were open and he was staring at the ceiling, all he saw in his vision was Yugi's face. And even though it would have been simple to try to dismiss this night's events as his own fault, (Yugi had, after all, been upset and Yami had clearly taken advantage of his raw emotions), Yami couldn't completely blame himself no matter how hard he tried. Because even though it was true that Yugi had been upset and in need of comfort-any sort of comfort-the facts remained. No matter how one looked at it, Yami thought, Yugi had still kissed him back. He hadn't had to do that, he could have pulled away whenever he wanted. But not only had he not resisted the kiss, he'd returned it.
It might have been their first kiss, and it might have been only in innocence, but Yami knew deep down inside that even if it was their last too, it wouldn't matter. It had been the moment he'd waited so long for. And, unbeknownst to him at the time, it had also been the moment Yugi had been dreaming of as well.
Yami rolled onto his stomach, closing his eyes. He had no idea at the time of the consequences that one single kiss would bring.
To Be Continued…
Yugi's birthday: It's June 4th, in case anyone is wondering.
Character stats: Even though I'm setting this in Japan, I'm sticking with the dub sl, (Thus Yami is 5000, not 3000), and I'm using the name Yami Atemu for him. Also, this goes by anime standards, making Yami five inches taller than Yugi. I've also guessed his age to be around 24. (As a few years have passed and all.) Yugi, obviously, is seventeen. This is after the series, after the Ceremonial Battle, so yes, there will be mentions of spoilers.
I've rated this fic R for content in future chapters, including violence, language, and rape. There is no true hentai, however, so don't worry about that. I'm just doing that for my own protection from the site moderators.
Couples mentioned or involved in the fic…YamixYugi, obviously. I also make references to JoeyxMai, RyouxBakura, and TeaxMariku (light Marik). As these are just references, they shouldn't bother any anti-fans of those couples.
Alright…I think that's good for the technical notes for now. :wink:
A new fic! Yaaayyyyy…took me long enough, right? It's going to be shounen-ai and angsty and sappy and romance-y, so get used to that now, kapiesh? Mostly it's just a big angsty romance fest, and that's almost the main sl. It also might get a little crazy in a few places.Flaming sent to me on any of those details, as well as others, will go unacknowledged and the fic won't change, so don't waste your energy. This is a big risk for me, really. It's the kind of thing I didn't think I'd post.You see, this fic will mostly be made up of Yugi and Yami hugging and crying and kissing and stroking each other's hair and basically just cuddling, which is cute and very fun to write and not bad in a one-shot...but I dunno how it is to read in a chapter story. But I've posted the first chapter...and am now honour-bound to see it through till the end!
I'm going to warn you now, AND THIS WILL BE THE ONLY WARNING YOU GET, SO PAY ATTENTION, that later in this fic certain ethics of the Christian religion-as well as others-will be challenged/teased. I mean no disrespect to anyone of any religion with these, and I'm not trying to start World War III, (That was Issei's job, if you recall. xD), but it's necessary for the fic and for the realism. Either learn to deal with it, or go read another fic that softens things for you and your religion, because as a writer, I shan't be doing so, and I'm so not in the mood to deal with irate religious mouthpieces getting on my case for some type of insult I made toward their faith in a fictional story.
Thanks for putting up with me there. I just want to make it very clear. I'm aware that religion is a madly touchy subject and people have been killed over lesser issues, so I'm just protecting my life.
Send me reviews, and I hope to see you in the coming chapters!