Like a Turtle.

There's always one thing I don't understand. Always one thing that I just don't quite get about mou hitori no boku. Probably the most obvious one, when I first came to realise and recognise his existence, was who was he? Who was this being inhabiting me? Who was filling the times when time left me and all was black for a second to my reality. Who was mou hitori no boku?

I craved the knowledge, hungrily, thirstily pursuing it. But every time I drew close to comprehension, every time I caught a glimpse of him and reached out to touch… He was gone. Sucked back into his shell. The Millennium Puzzle. Whenever there was danger, he would poke his head out, snap and fight, and then when the battle was over, his head would retreat back into the safety of his shell, and all I'd be left with was the shell, still wearing it around my neck and tracing the cracks of it's intricate design with my fingertips as I pondered. Well at least he chose a very stylish shell. A very powerful shell as well.

I sighed, in what Jounouchi and Anzu will say with much romantic dust in their eyes, in longing. But then again, I was longing for something. Thing. That term bothers me, he's not a thing, he's a spirit, a person. He has a soul, heck that's what he is. A soul, sealed in a puzzle for all of time… I wonder if that bothers him.

'Mou hitori no boku?' I whispered in my mind, not really expecting an answer. I hardly ever got one if I was contacting him for any other reasons than, immediate danger, soon to be coming danger, worry about danger, or the after effects of danger. Mostly anything that involved me and danger colliding in some fashion would stir a response from mou hitori no boku.

'Yes, aibou?' Guess I was wrong.

Aibou. He always calls me aibou. Partner. I don't feel like a partner in this. I feel like a second shell, a softer more vulnerable shell that Mou hitori no boku needs to protect. But now his shell had a problem, I had just called to mou hitori no boku 'cause I was thinking of him, and didn't expect him to answer me. Now he had, it was a different ball game entirely.

'W-When I get home, t-to my room.' Deep breath, stop mentally stuttering. Who honestly stutters in their own mind? 'I was wondering if I could, talk to you?'

'You are talking to me now aren't you?'

'I-I mean,' stuttering again, 'in my hearts room.'

My breathing stopped, or at least decreased so much that I was breathing so shallowly it seemed as though I had stopped. I waited for his reply. It seemed to take eternity. Jounouchi and Anzu were getting worried by the small discolouring of my cheeks as I waited so impatiently and anxiously.

'That's fine.'

Exhale, and don't choke. Phew. For a moment there I feared a "no", a carefully worded and immaculately articulate "no". But the reply I received was so much more satisfying I was almost levitating out of my seat. I was going to speak with mou hitori no boku, get to see him. He would leave his shell, and venture into the heart of mine and speak with me. This hadn't happened before.

"What's up Yug'. Ya zoned out on us for a while d'ere."

"He was talking to his other self I bet. So what did he say Yuugi?" Anzu asked with her usual amount of perky interest. I couldn't help but notice Jounouchi also leaned in as she asked. He craved to know too.

"I, I just wanted to ask him something." I said, evading slightly. I don't know why. They are my best friends, so I don't know why it bothers me slightly that I had asked mou hitori no boku to talk with me later in my hearts room, and he'd agreed. Maybe I wanted to keep it to myself, save them asking later about how it went. Maybe that was it…

"What'd ya ask?" Jou requested, leaning still further in as though he was trying to press the knowledge free of me with the dominance and poking playfulness of his aura. Anzu was doing a similar thing.

"Oh just asked to talk to him later about something…about last week." I knew it was a lie, Well, mostly a lie. But I just didn't want them to know, and saying I just wanted to talk to him, sounded, to me, love struck and somewhat foolish.

"Oh okay. Well I have a curfew, and I'm pretty sure that Grandpa imposes a similar curfew on you Yuugi." Anzu said, the bottom of her chair scraping along the hard stone tiles of the food court at the mall. I looked at my watch.

"Oh no! You're right Anzu. I better really get going, Grandpa hates me to be late!" I said, snatching up my backpack from the floor as my own chair grated out. I hurriedly said my good-byes and rushed out of the mall, dodging people and trying to avoid accidentally slapping someone in the face with my hair. It had happened once, to my great horror and embarrassment, but in my defence it was Jounouchi's fault.

Xx-Back at The humble home of the Mouto's-xX

…Suddenly I'm not feeling too great about this talk with mou hitori no boku. I mean, we've never really talked, I've never really seen him, and I don't really know what to say to him. 'Hi you've been living in my head for a while now, and I thought it's time we had a nice chat, to get to know each other a little while you're inhabiting and, at times, possessing my body.' I don't think that's a great plan. But I got myself into this, didn't I? And squirming out of it, would only be worse. You should face your problems, not that he's a problem. I just want to talk to him.

But what am I going to say? I'm running out of time!

"Are you going upstairs soon Yuugi, I know you're only helping me work to avoid doing your homework."

Oh Grandpa, I wish that was why I was helping you so much in the store.

"No! That's not it at all. You just, you're getting a little on in years, and I thought I saw you rubbing your back a little earlier, which obviously means it's giving you trouble, and I don't want you to have a bad back and back problems, so I thought I'd help you out." I scrambled out.

"Go upstairs now Yuugi."

Somehow, I don't think he believed me. Oh well, I can't put off this chat I asked for. Nope, can't just retract into the game store or hang around my grandfather. Use other people as a distraction, an excuse, a shell.

My hand traces the cracks of the puzzle again, as I absently make my way up the carpeted and creaky stairs to the upper half of our home. The soft green walls passing ignored in my sight as I approach my bedroom door, grip the brass knob, and enter my "haven".

Various Duel Monster posters are smattered on the walls in irregular places and not perfectly straight either. They may once have been straight. But when the blu-tack was still fresh they all fell off at one point in time or another, so I just stuck them up again. Guess I wasn't paying much attention and didn't really care. Hmm, It doesn't really matter anyway; I think they look better this way.

My floor is a softly toned blue, not like the sea or the sky, maybe one of those in between colours. I sometimes like to flop down on it, and stare at the ceiling. When I can find the room that is. Usually my floor is littered with books, crumpled paper and clothes tossed around like fruit salad, today it's remarkably clear. This could be one of those fortunate days where I get to lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling, feeling my eyes sink back into my scull. My bangs slide away from my face and I can see out of the sky light and gaze at the few brightly shining stars visible over the luminescent glow of the city.

However, if I'm to talk to mou hitori no boku, I had best lie down on the bed. That way if Grandpa walks in it looks as though I just went to lie down in bed for a while, and I my body wouldn't be stiff and sore. My bed still remains unmade from this morning when I had flung myself out of it and into some clothes so I could run to the arcade and meet my friends. I lead a hectic life, really I do. Who can expect me to be awake at ten in the morning?

I shuffle over to the bed, checking to make sure there are no potentially harming objects on it before catapulting myself on to it, bellyflopping with a phwump as the sheets stir and the springs groan in protest to this mistreatment.

My chest didn't hurt either. It's a peculiar thing I've begun to notice recently. When I fall face down, anyone would think I should've lost half my ribs or my stomach to the sharp edges of the puzzle. But it doesn't hurt me at all, it's like I never landed on a sharp, intricate, hard, golden, pyramid shaped shell.

Rolling over right side up, I breathe a little. I'm about to go in. I can feel mou hitori no boku, rustling in my hearts room, waiting for me. Alert to the knowledge that I just entered my room, at my home, the home I said I'd speak to him once I had reached, he had gone into my hearts room to wait for me.

Deep breaths Yuugi. In, out, in, out. Now close those eyes, calm down and leave your body vulnerable to any dark assailant to scramble through your window and use your body for violent…getting off track.

I feel my body jolt, and my spiritual body becomes the extension of my consciousness that I physically feel with as I find myself lying on a bed with a white canopy, and happy yellow sheets.

"Aibou."

Aibou. He always greets me thus. It's always aibou, partner. Rarely is it, Yuugi. Sometimes though, it's Hikari, or saviour, or master. But hardly ever Yuugi, not with mou hitori no boku.

"Mou hitori no boku." I reply, rising to a sitting position, then a standing position. We walk towards each other, a silent agreement to get closer, to talk.

So this is what mou hitori no boku looks like. He's slightly taller, slightly more muscular. That extra muscle is visible in his legs, as they move and shift within the confines of his black leather pants, hugging him closer than mine hug my legs. His arms flex slightly as they swing in a controlled fashion to the graceful swagger of his walk. His hair moves slightly as well, not so much the blonde strands dancing up through his hair and hanging around his face, longing to touch his perfectly formed cheek bones, but more his dramatic spike crown. It's pretty much identical to mine, spiking up in any direction, edges rusted from the sunlight, centre still black.

His eyes.

They were red. Like that of an unholy demon. Crimson beyond the blood that flows within my mortal body. Ruby red and glittering passively and sharply.

So beautiful. So intimidating, scary, dominating, incredible, captivating, piercing… so amazing.

"You desired to talk to me?"

Right now, there are a lot of other things I'm desiring. I'm trying not to think unhealthy thoughts right now. Thoughts that might damage my capacity for thinking straight or remotely logically. It's not working very well.

"Um…yeah."

His head tilts slightly to the side. I guess my answer wasn't that all great and he's waiting for me to continue. His eyes are querying me, face completely impassive. Oh man, I wasn't ready for this. Why did he answer me? Why did I ask in the first place?

"I-I just. I know I'm not alone, here in this body. And it-it seems strange to me that I don't know the other in habitant. I just want to, to talk to you."

… Awkward silence. He regards me with those eyes, those inconceivable eyes. I wonder what he's looking for. Is he breathing?

"Talk to me about what, aibou?"

Once more aibou. I want to see his lips form the word "Yuugi". Want to see him call me by the name of my birth, not the endearment he has bestowed upon me since I became his saviour, his "master". My body is his aibou, my soul is not. I don't know this spirit.

"Y-You call me aibou. You say that to me a lot, when you talk to me in brief moments. Why? Why call me that when I don't know you, beyond the feeling of your presence and the sound of your voice in my mind?"

He's thinking. I think he's thinking at least. He's looking at me again, and he takes a step closer to me. Soon he takes another, bodies so close I can feel the darkness of his energy rubbing against the light of mine. At this close proximity I can clearly make out every curve of his face and body. I can see the small defining lines in his eyes, the slight glint in one corner and the buried secret in the other. I can feel the heat of his breath.

He's breathing.

"You are half my heart, I am half your heart. You are half of my soul, I am half of your soul. When I inhabit your body, with my heart it becomes whole, but if I were to inhabit alone, it would still have only half. You are my aibou, and I am yours, as only when we are together will the heart be whole. Partners of the heart."

"Partners of…the heart?"

He replies simply with a regal nod of his head, face still impassive, unreadable. I wish I could be as unreadable, as undefinable in my expressions. Many people have told me I'm too open. It's not something I'm able to control so easily, as easily as he's controlling his expression.

I'm trying to make sense of his previous declaration. Before he came, before mou hitori no boku… I was half. I'm still half now. Isn't that what he said? Me, here, standing now. I'm half. Only when we both inhabit the body do we ever become whole. That's why he calls me his aibou.

So does this mean, this being standing here, standing before me in god like glory and demonic grace, is a part of me? But if he's a part of me…shouldn't I know… shouldn't I…

"Who are you?"

He looks at me as though I've asked the most ridiculous and out of the blue question under the sun or moon. At least that's how I read that look on his face. As though I'm the one being crazy. His eyes grow distant; he looks over my head, or maybe through my head, for a while.

I don't understand. How could the question be so hard to answer? His eyes seemed a little darker, completely unfocused and lost in the millions of stars and vast blackness of space. He isn't moving. There are increasing waves of awkwardness as moments pass, he's still staring.

I hope I haven't offended him. I hope I haven't done something terribly wrong. Things seem terribly wrong. Way to screw things up Yuugi. I don't know what to do.

"Mou hitori no boku?"

No response. What have I done! I only just met him, only got to see and talk to him for the first time and…and now look!

"Mou hitori no boku? Are you, are you o-okay?"

I move forward slightly, closing the gap between us just a little bit more. My trembling hand reaches out, quivering as I softly coil my fingers around his wrist, leaning in further still, I want him to respond. Maybe by moving closer I can, I can see what's wrong, maybe he'll acknowledge me if I'm closer. I don't know. This was a bad idea, a very bad idea.

"Mou hitori no boku? Mou hitori no boku?"

He gives a slight shake of his head and his eyes flick back into focus, resting upon my face and for a minute there is a slight fear in their depths that I could only have seen by being at such a close proximity, then it's gone and he moves back. My hand slips from around his wrist.

"A-Aibou…"

That pause, lost for a second. Trailing off unsure. This kind of voice doesn't suit him, doesn't fit the regal stride in his step, the courageous spikes flung back in his hair, the confidentiality and power resonating within his eyes. What did I do?

"I am sorry."

I reach out a hand, and grab his wrist again. I just don't understand. At the contact, something flares brilliantly in his eyes for a brief second. So loud and violent I couldn't tell what it was. He pulls his arm free with one sharp backwards tug, he's backing up, boots clicking. Then in a second he raced out of my room and back into the puzzle, back into his shell.