A/N: Okay, so lets get the boring stuff out of the way first, shall we?
First of all, I want to thank those fantastic people who reviewed the last chapter:
allaboutthegate, mokiepuppy, dragonlady222, Spirit of the Moon, Daikaio, Black-Dranzer-1119, unseenwater, spiritfire, Darkyami7, yamiyugi's girlfriend, Princess Yali, wingsofobsidia, Sunwing, spidy007, Yami Kkwy, Bittychan, catti-dono, Spicey Babe, The Black Angels Red Rose, DarkMetalAngel of Destruction, Masami Mistress Of Fire
I'd also like to quickly thank every single person that has review this fic. These are:
Bittychan, HarperLeBeau, Steff-Sandwich, BloodDrownedRose, xLight Foreverx, Sunwing, Aurora Tenchi, Bunny, yay-I, Yakubi, mokiepuppy, Black-Dranzer-1119, dark magician girl, Darkyami7, allaboutthegate, spidy007, chibihitomi, Red.Eyes.Black.Dragon.2400, Lady Laran, Yami Kkwy, Una Morgan, atemugirl0312465978, Blue Bull/Blue-Star-Witch, DMHPluv, Yana5, kingleby, Peachy-kun and Middi Knowles, Kay B. Toyas, Elektra107, Jenniyah, dragonlady222, Sonic Remix, GerardYuroshi, SailorSaturnthesilencer, Spirit of the Moon, Shire, Cute Beyblader, Darkling221, Ryous Twin Sister, dobe-chan, Peachy-kun, anony-mouse, Hikari Angel, KainMcDonnellsgirl, Masami Mistress of Fire, Person-san, unseenwater, Natoya, Spicey Babe, Una1, Evil Pharaoh Atem, Princess Yali, Vanya-Deyja, xBakura's lovex, Aerith Queen of Cetra, The Black Angels Red Rose, yamiyugi's girlfriend, Yami Val, wingsofobsidia, Akkadia, spiritfire, catti-dono, DarkMetalAngel of Destruction, Soul Survivor of Darkness, p.k., Aqua Taisho, KagomeGirl021, Water Sorceress + KatieD
Thank you so much everyone. Without your support and kind words, I don't think I would have had the motivation to finish this story. I know authors have said that a lot in the past, but I truly mean it. There have been many times when I have thought about quitting. But your reviews always managed to inspire me and convinced me to carry on. So thank you so much.
I would also like to give an extra special thank you to allaboutthegate and Darkyami7. Thank you so much for everything you two. You've both listened to me whine, moan and panic over this story, and you've always listened to me every time, helping in any way you can. To show how much I appreciate it, I want to dedicate this chapter to the both of you.
Now, a little note about this chapter. Originally, I wanted to include a lemon at the end. But after much, MUCH debating (and a few sleepless nights), I've decided not to include one in this chapter. The reason? It just wouldn't fit. But there is still a lot of Puzzleshipping love.
But I have written a lemon.
It just won't be here.
Details about it are at the end, but please read the fic first!
Right. Lets get on with this, shall we?
/Yami to Yugi through the mind link/
/Yugi to Yami in the mind link/
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! or any of the characters. If I did, then…oh you know!
Yami fiddled with the ring Yugi had given him, vaguely registering the passing world outside. The golden piece of jewellery span slowly around his ring finger.
1 month since he had made a move on Yugi after that simple game of tag. 1 month since he thought the world he knew was crashing down upon him. 1 month since he and Yugi had made that promise. The words still rang in his ears…
"Promise me something, Yami. Promise me you'll come back."
"I promise I will come back, Yugi."
And he had kept that promise. Although he had wanted to return to Domino sooner, it had taken longer than expected to tie up a few lose ends back in Egypt. He had quit his job only a few days ago, wanting to earn as much money as possible, mainly due to the expensive flight. He had managed to sell his apartment, but again, that had taken longer than he had first thought. He had said goodbye to the few friends he had made, and had spent the entirety of the day before his flight packing his belongings. Not that there was that much to pack. All his belongings easily fitted into two suitcases and a rucksack.
But it wasn't just those trivial things that delayed his return. If anything, he would have returned back to Yugi just as soon as he had arrived back in Egypt, quitting his job there and then and just abandoning the life he had had there. No, something had been troubling him the past month. And it pained him more and more with each passing day.
He had to tell Yugi the truth.
He had to tell him why he left six years ago.
Yami sighed sadly, still spinning the ring around his finger. He hadn't taken it off since Yugi had given it to him. Apart from the phone calls and letters they sent each other-Yami didn't have access to a computer-it was the only thing he had that was remotely close to Yugi. And even then, it wasn't the same as actually holding his love in his arms.
For the past month, Yami had been contemplating how he could tell Yugi. He had already decided he wanted to tell him face to face. But, he didn't know if he could. At the time, it had seemed like a valid reason for leaving. But now, looking back on it, and after Ryou and Bakura had explained to him when they found him in Egypt about a year ago, it seemed stupid. Pointless even. It seemed like the most ridiculous reason for leaving the person you loved unexpectedly (from their point of view) and disappearing for six very long years.
Yami wanted to tell Yugi. He deserved the truth. He deserved more. But Yami couldn't shake off the feeling that when he did tell Yugi, Yugi's reaction wouldn't be a positive one. What if Yugi left him, like Yami had left him? 'I deserve it if he does.'
"Yami?" a soft voice asked gently. "Are you okay? You seemed troubled."
Yami put on a soft, but fake, smile. "I'm fine, Ryou. Just a little nervous." And it showed in his voice.
"About what?" Ryou asked. He looked in the car mirror to see Yami's face more clearly. The former Pharaoh defiantly seemed troubled. "Seeing Yugi again? He doesn't know you're coming, does he?"
"No. I wanted to surprise him."
"Oh, he'll be surprised," teased a gravel voice from beside Ryou. "He'll be very surprised." The voice laughed.
"Do you mean that in a good way, or a bad way, Bakura?" Ryou asked warily, glancing at the passenger beside him. He already knew the answer though.
"What? Can't I be nice?" Bakura asked innocently. Ryou continued to glare at the thief. Bakura shrugged. "I'm only saying that Yugi will be surprised when Yami suddenly turns up out of the blue…"
"Good," Ryou nodded, concentrating back on the road.
"…And that Yugi will probably kill him when he tells him why he left all those years ago."
"I was only speaking my opinion!"
Ryou sighed heavily. "Don't listen to him, Yami. I never do."
"You weren't saying that last night," Bakura retaliated. "In fact, you seemed to like a few of my suggestions."
Ryou's face quickly resembled the colour of a tomato. "T-That's different!" He turned the steering wheel, causing the car to turn to the left.
Yami smiled as the couple continued to have a little lover's tiff, but it quickly faded away. "But, Ryou, what if Yugi does react badly? The reason why I left, it's pathetic!"
"No it's not," Ryou reassured. "And Yugi will know that when you tell him. He loves you Yami. He'll understand and he'll forgive you. You have nothing to worry about."
"Are you sure?"
"Positive. You're facing your inner demons and telling Yugi the truth. That's something he wants. And he'll admire you for your courage. He knows how hard it is for you to tell him stuff like this."
"I hope you're right…" Yami sank in his seat.
"I know I am," Ryou said positively. He slowed down the car until it stopped outside a familiar small building. "We're here."
Yami sat back up in his seat and looked out his window. Ryou was right. They had arrived at the Kame Game Shop. He swallowed, hard. His nerves were starting to get the better of him.
Ryou parked the car, making sure to turn the engine off and kept the keys in his pocket. The last time he had left the car running with Bakura inside, he hadn't seen either of them for two whole days. He shivered at the memory of the badly dented car. Trying to put the memory to the back of his mind, he kept himself busy by helping Yami with his two suitcases, helping him carry them to the front door. He was surprised by how light they were.
"Well," he said, placing the suitcases down. He dusted off his hands. "That's my job done."
"Thank you for picking me up," Yami thanked.
"No problem! I'm just sorry about Bakura. He insisted on coming and left me with no choice!"
Yami gave a light laugh. "It's okay."
Ryou smiled. After shaking Yami's hand, he made his way back to the car. "Good luck tonight!" He climbed in and started the car, trying his best to ignore Bakura's pleads to drive the car himself.
Yami watched them disappeared down the dark street and straight into the setting sun. He waited until they had completely disappeared from his view, before turning back to face the front door. He took a deep breath.
This was it.
He slipped his hand in his pocket, searching for the keys Yugi had sent him a couple of weeks ago. He soon found them. With shaking fingers, he put them into the lock and twisted them. After he heard a small "click", he pushed the door forward. Slowly, with his suitcases in his hand and his rucksack hooked over his shoulder, he entered the small building.
The lights were on in the hallway. That meant Yugi was home. He knew Anzu wouldn't be in. As Yugi had told him, she had moved out almost three weeks ago, back into the apartment she had above the dance studio she worked in. She still worked a few hours at the Game Shop though. And Yami was not looking forward to that reunion.
Jonouchi and Honda on the other hand, he didn't mind. He knew Honda had told Yugi to come after him the night he had ran out. And he knew Jonouchi and Kaiba had helped Yugi to get to the airport that fateful day. Yugi had already told him all the details. He knew that it would take some time for Yugi's friends to accept their relationship, but both he and Yugi had faith that things would soon get back to normal, just like they used to be.
Speaking of his hikari…
"Yugi?" He called into the house. He took his keys out the front door and closed it, pocketing his keys. "Yugi, it's me!"
"Y-Yami!" came Yugi's surprised reply from upstairs.
Yami couldn't help but smile as he heard Yugi thump around upstairs, before he quickly made an appearance at the top of the stairs. He ran a few steps down before he caught sight of Yami. He froze dead in his tracks.
"Yami," he gasped.
Yami smiled and opened out his arms. "Surprise."
Yugi's face turned from utter shock to pure happiness in a blink of an eye. Before Yami knew it, he had rushed down the remaining stairs three at a time, and jumped straight into Yami's waiting arms. Yami took a involuntary step backwards from the force of the jump, but managed to quickly regain his footing and embrace Yugi back. He felt Yugi's own ring brush against the back of his neck.
"I can't believe you're here!" Yugi exclaimed happily. He looked up into deep pools of crimson. "Why didn't you tell me you were coming tonight? I could have picked you up from the airport!"
Yami softly caressed Yugi's cheek. "Because it wouldn't have been a surprise now, would it?" He teased. He pulled Yugi's face closer to his and enveloped him in a passionate kiss. He had had to wait a month for this, and frankly, his patience had quickly run out. He was never very patient. But that's what you get for being a Pharaoh who always got exactly what he wanted.
"Mmh!" Yugi muffled as an idea came to him mid-kiss. He broke the kiss, much to Yami's disappointment. "Speaking of surprises, I have one for you."
Suddenly, Yami didn't feel so disappointed anymore. He cocked an eyebrow. "Oh really?"
Yugi nodded excitedly. He was acting like a kid again, rather than a twenty two year old adult. "You're lucky. I just finished getting it ready. It's upstairs."
A million different thoughts flashed through Yami's mind, and none of them were innocent to say the least. He allowed Yugi to help him with his suitcases up the stairs and followed him to his room.
Once there, they dumped Yami's belongings just beside the door. Yami looked around the room. It had changed since he had last been in here, which was six years ago. He shouldn't have been surprised at the change. Although a couple of Duel Monster posters were still on the wall, Yugi's single bed had been replaced by a double bed that was placed in the middle of the room. The wardrobe had increased in size, and his desk had been moved to a different room. Yami guessed it was in the study.
"So, where's the surprise?" Yami asked, slowly seating himself on the edge of the bed. He could feel his heart beginning to beat fast with excitement, but he tried not to let it show.
Yugi giggled. "You have to close your eyes first."
"Just do it."
"All right." So Yami closed his eyes. And he kept them closed, even though the sound of Yugi rummaging around in a drawer near his feet peaked his curiosity. He kept them closed as he heard something jingle that sounded oddly familiar. And he kept them closed when a voice rang through his head.
/Okay. You can open your eyes now./
Yami's eyelids scrunched up. Was that…Was that the mind link? Yami shook his head, trying to shake the idea out of his mind. 'No. No, it couldn't be.'
He heard Yugi laugh lightly. /Stop shaking your head and open your eyes./
There it was again. The familiar sensation of the mind link being put into use. The familiar sensation of a special bond that he and Yugi had once had so many years ago. It still sent chills down his spine. Hesitantly, Yami tried it for himself. /Yugi/
/The one and only./ Came the cheery reply. /Are you going to open your eyes or not/
Excitement pumping through his veins, Yami opened his eyes and was met with an unexpected sight. Yugi was wearing his Millennium Puzzle.
Yami clutched his own Puzzle in his hand, unable to comprehend the sight in front of him. His breathing began to quicken and he soon began to stutter from shock. "Y-You…Me…Link…P-Puzzle…WHAT?"
Yugi giggled at Yami's reaction. "I told you I kept it in a safe place, didn't I?"
Yami couldn't believe it. He just couldn't believe it. The Millennium Puzzle was a symbol of their bond. It symbolised everything about their relationship with one another. It symbolised the union of light and dark, Yugi and Yami. And it proved to Yami just how much Yugi really loved him.
He couldn't contain his happiness anymore.
He jumped off the bed and wrapped his arms around Yugi, placing his lips over the slightly younger man's. Yugi was so taken by surprise, he found that he couldn't kiss back. And that he couldn't breath from the tight embrace.
/What/ Yami opened his eyes and saw the squished Yugi in his arms. Opps. "S-Sorry Yugi!" he said, jumping back.
"I-It's okay," Yugi reassured, getting his breath back.
"It's just that seeing you with your half of the Millennium Puzzle on, I just feel so happy. It symbolises so much for us. It reminds me of old times, like how things were six ye-"
He stopped in mid sentence. It was all rushing back now. What had been haunting him for what seemed like an eternity. What had caused him countless sleepless nights. How could he have forgotten?
Yugi noticed Yami's sudden silence and began to worry. "Yami, are you okay?"
Yami glanced at Yugi's face and saw the worry embedded on his face. He felt his heart flutter. Yugi always looked cute when he was worried. Or angry. Or happy. Did he really deserve someone this beautiful, after everything he had done?
He sighed heavily, and slowly seated himself back onto the bed. He hid his face in his hands.
Yugi gazed at his love with worried eyes. What had happened? "Yami?" He asked tentatively, walking towards the former Pharaoh.
Yami slide his hands down his face and gazed at Yugi. "Yugi," he said seriously. He tried to speak the words he so desperately wanted to say. "It's time I…It's time I finally told you the truth…about why I left."
Yugi took the hint and slowly sat down on the bed next to his love. Although his face remained calm, his heart was beating a mile a minute inside his chest. "Yami, I don't want you to tell me if you're not ready-"
"No," Yami interrupted. "No, I am ready to tell you, Yugi. Besides, you already know part of the reason."
It took Yugi a moment to remember. "So it was the religious man, wasn't it?"
Yami nodded slowly.
"But when he confronted us in the park before, we just ignored him and he went away."
"That's true," Yami spoke slowly and carefully, as if every word pained him in some way. "But the night I left, I ran into him again. Not intentionally. You remember I went to take a walk?"
Yugi nodded. He remembered. He remembered every little detail about that fateful night. "You had been helping Grandpa work in the shop all day and needed some air."
Yami continued. "Well, he saw me. The religious man, I mean. I can never remember his name…And he confronted me again. A-And I was about to walk away, I promise I was! But then he told me about this place called "hell"…" He paused. "Being from Egypt, I knew nothing of this "hell". I knew nothing of its fiery pits, of the torture one's soul is put through down there." He clenched his fists together. "That man told me that if we stayed together, we'd both end up in hell because of what were were. And I didn't want that to happen Yugi!"
"Yami," Yugi soothed, placing an arm around the former Pharaoh.
"I'm suppose to protect you, Yugi! Not condemn you to a life of anguish! You're the first and only person I've ever truly loved. I wanted to do everything I could to make you happy, and to make you safe from harm. I…I-I've never been in a relationship like this before. I've never been committed to one person like this. And I didn't want to lose you or hurt you!"
"So you were scared?" Yugi asked softly.
Yami nodded frantically. "Yes. Yes, I was scared. I was so scared, Yugi!" Just saying that seemed to lift a weight off his shoulders. But much of that weight remained where it was. "And it's only recently that I can face up to my fears. It's only now that I've finally found the courage to tell you and admit to my mistakes." He let out a frustrated growl. "I feel so stupid!" He jumped up off the bed and paced around the room.
"Yami," Yugi reassured softly. "You're not stupid-"
"Yes I am!" Yami screamed. "I let my fears take control of me! I was scared of the commitment I had to give. I was scared because of this place called hell! I was worried that if we were together, I would hurt you in some way. I was scared that if we stayed together, something…something terrible would happen to you! I couldn't live with myself knowing that! I couldn't stand the thought that us being together would end up hurting you! So I thought that if I left, things would be better. You wouldn't get hurt and you wouldn't get sent to hell." He paused as he sniffed. 'Damn these tears!' "But I did hurt you! I did! The night I left, I hurt you so badly! I'm so pathetic!" He fell to his knees and cried.
"Yami." Yugi jumped up off the bed, rushing to Yami's side. He kneeled beside him and wrapped him in a protective hug. "You're not pathetic. You're not pathetic at all! I understand how you feel. I was scared about the commitment too."
"But you didn't run away!"
"No, I didn't. But what you did, it shows that you care for me."
"W-What do you mean?"
"You wanted to protect me, Yami. And that shows just how much you care about me. You wanted to protect me not only from the pain of commitment, but from the pain of hell. Yes, you were scared. You were scared because of the commitment you had to give. And when that man told you about hell, it was the final straw for you. Before that, you didn't know what it was. You panicked. But you've finally found the courage to fight your fears."
"But…But I was so stupid Yugi! Letting this man scare me like that! For almost six years, the idea of hell haunted me, until Ryou and Bakura found me."
"What?" Yugi's grip loosened slightly.
Yami sniffed. "They came to Egypt on holiday a while ago, and they bumped into me. Somehow, I'm not sure exactly how, they convinced me to tell them why I left. And they explained to me how everyone is scared of commitment. And they explained to me that we wouldn't go to hell."
"And we won't, Yami," Yugi comforted, holding Yami close. "I promise that we won't. That man may think that us being together is a sin, but I know that it isn't. Two people being in love, where's the sin in that? So what if we're the same gender? And besides, you know I'm not that religious anyway. But I know God wouldn't condemn us to hell just for being in love."
"I know," Yami said quietly. "I know that now, Yugi. And hearing you say that, it makes me feel a lot better. But still…" He broke out of Yugi's embrace and stood up. "I was so stupid, letting those words effect me like that! I was so pitiful letting my fears take control of me!"
"But you've learnt from your mistakes," Yugi said, standing up, trying desperately to break through to Yami. "And that's the important thing, Yami. You learnt from the past and you're making up for your past mistakes. You're facing your fears."
"I know. I know that, Yugi. And all I want to do is stay with you for the rest of my life. Because I know now that I'm ready for that commitment. But I just can't get rid of this guilt! I can't get rid of it! It's eating me inside!"
Yugi hated seeing Yami like this. It killed him inside to know that Yami was suffering from the guilt from his mistakes. But he needed to know that Yugi didn't care what had happened in the past. That was over. They couldn't change what they had done back then. What they could change was their future.
Yugi approached Yami and turned him around so they were face to face. Before Yami could say or do anything, Yugi placed his lips on top of the Pharaoh's and kissed him passionately. He was thankful when Yami kissed him back.
"Yami," Yugi said passionately when they broke apart. "You shouldn't feel guilty. What happened, that's all in the past. We can't change what we did back then. But we can change the future." He smiled, brushing a few blonde strands away from Yami's surprised eyes. "We can live our future the way we want to, and not let our past mistakes hinder that in any way. I love you Yami, and nothing can change that. I can see how much you want to make up for your mistakes, and I know you've already done more than enough. You came back to me not only once, but twice. And that to me shows that you want this relationship to work. It shows that you're ready to commit. You're not afraid anymore." 'And I'm not afraid either.'
He leaned forward, wrapping his arms around Yami's waist, and kissed him passionately on the lips with as much love as possible. He felt Yami wrap his arms around his waist, pulling him closer to his body.
As their kiss intensified, their tongues soon becoming involved, Yami felt a sense of relief wash over him. Yugi's words had once again managed to solve everything. His doubt, his worries, his fears, they had all just faded away. His guilt still remained in his heart, and would forever haunt his past. But he knew that if he did not allow it to control his future, he and Yugi would finally be able to be together, like they had always wanted to be. They would finally be able to fully commit to the relationship they wanted without the fear of "hell" hanging over their heads, and live happily and safe in each other's arms.
And they both knew that their rekindled love would burn brighter than the blazing sun, eternally.
…Or is it?
Okay, I have to say it. That was a pathetic way of trying to explain why Yami left. I just couldn't put it into words! But basically, Yami was scared of the commitment. But more than that, he was scared of sending Yugi to hell. Since he's from Egypt and knows nothing about heaven and hell, it scared him when the "religious man" told him that they would both be sent to hell, because two men can't be in love. And that was the final straw for him. He had to leave? Get it? (Why couldn't I write that before?). I apologise now if I caused anyone any offense.
Anyway, as I said at the beginning, I've already written a lemon. And I'll be posting it so you can all read it. It will be in a oneshot based on this, entitled "Rekindled Passion" and should be up now. Like I said, I did want it to be included in the main story, but it just didn't flow right, and to be honest, it is a little clichéd. So I've written it in a oneshot. If you liked "Rekindled Love", then please read it!
And don't think I'll be disappearing off the face of the Earth. I already have an idea for another story that includes a little forbidden Yaoi love. So I hope you'll read my new story, "Shin no Duelist."
Hope to see you again soon! Thank you for all your support!